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What Can You Give? The Greatest Lesson I Learnt Through Misdiagnosis

It is because of the kindness of others that I am here today. Between my family and a few special friends, I can thrive and live a life beyond my wildest dreams.

During my teens, I was hospitalized for an extended period of time and constantly misdiagnosed, gas-lit by doctors, and abandoned by the system supposed to support you when you need it the most. Being misdiagnosed or undiagnosed is like a being in a persistent thick black fog, not able to see any way through, being overrun with frustration, anger, and pain. Wishing and hoping that you just knew, no matter what it was, just wanting to know.

During the time I spent not knowing, I did my best to slap on a fake smile, ignore the comments about my weight and the silly herbal remedy suggestions. I thought getting a diagnosis was the only thing that could resolve the depression I was locked in.

(Courtesy of Keely Cat-Wells)

One mundane day, something shifted. I was still suffering physically, but mentally I found a focus that helped, and this was due to a friend who asked me to find a way to give. Initially, I didn’t think there was anything I could give. I was stuck in the hospital, unable to eat, drink, or have any life outside my cubical. It took days before what she said sunk in, and I started looking for ways I could give. I started an Instagram page and started sharing my experiences with others. I not only found a community that related to everything I was facing, but I managed to give counsel, support, and an ear to others. I learned from this moment giving wasn’t always an enormous gesture that needed to take a large amount of energy, time, or money. Giving is something that everyone can do, no matter what one’s situation. Giving does not discriminate. And when you least expect it giving gives back to you.

To everyone facing health tribulations, I am sending you spoons (if you know, you know!), but I am also sending you a message asking you to find something that you can give today because, through your gift, you can change lives, and it can lead to a life beyond the fog.

Donate to Channel Kindness!

Keely Cat-Wells

Keely Cat-Wells is an Entrepreneur and Disability Activist dedicated to making social, systemic, and economic change. As the CEO and Founder of C Talent and Zetta Studios, Keely has been named a Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe Entertainment 2021 honoree, Diana Award winner, Aerie Change-Maker, an Advisory Board Member at Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation, and has been awarded by the Los Angeles Lakers as a Comerica Bank Woman of Entrepreneurship. Keely has spoken as a Disability Subject Matter Expert for companies and organizations including, The LEGO Group, the United Nations, Google, UCLA, Comcast NBCUniversal Xfinity, India National Ability Summit, Toronto International Film Festival, the Cannes Film Festival, and Virgin Media’sUltraviolet event among others.  Keely founded her first company at a young age during her time in hospital, which developed into C Talent. C Talent represents Deaf and Disabled artists, athletes and influencers globally with the goal of normalizing disabled people being experts in subjects beyond disability. C Talent also provides disability and accessibility consulting for the entertainment industry and Fortune 500 companies. After noticing the lack of access in the entertainment industry, Keely formed Zetta Studios which is set to be the world’s first-ever studio to be a fully accessible, designed with disabled people in mind.

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