Micheala (Chaeli) Mycroft, a 21-year-old quadriplegic from South Africa, will discuss her experiences with cerebral palsy, and the ability and potential of disabled children on Monday, Nov. 2 at Quinnipiac University. She will speak at 12:30 p.m. at the Center for Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Room 105, at the North Haven Campus, 370 Bassett Road, and at 4 p.m. in the Carl Hansen Student Center Piazza, 275 Mount Carmel Ave., Hamden. Both events are free and open to the public.
Mycroft, who was born with cerebral palsy, uses her disability as an opportunity to speak around the world as an “ability activist” and work to create a global community that accepts and embraces children with disabilities.
At age 9, after conducting a successful fundraiser to buy a motorized wheelchair, Mycroft and her mother cofounded the Chaeli Campaign, a nonprofit organization that supports the mobility and educational needs of disabled children in South Africa. Founded in 2004, the organization has raised money for more than 10,000 disabled children to receive medical equipment and physical therapy.
In 2011, Mycroft won the International Children’s Peace Prize for her efforts of creating global awareness for children with disabilities. The award, which is affiliated with the Nobel Peace Prize, is presented annually to people under age 18 for their unique contribution to the world. Archbishop Desmond Tutu presented the award to her.
In September, Mycroft became the first female quadriplegic to reach the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, the tallest mountain in Africa. The five-day journey raised money and awareness for the Chaeli Campaign.
David Ives, executive director of the Albert Schweitzer Institute, believes Mycroft’s speeches will help meet the institute’s mission of focusing on health, humanitarian and peace efforts.
“I’ve been very interested philosophically in dealing with health issues,” Ives said. “The Albert Schweitzer Institute has been doing a lot of work with physical therapy and occupational therapy health in Central America countries, and recently, Barbados.”
Ives added that exposure to these issues would continue to raise interest for students coming to see Mycroft and doing future service events dedicated to health.
For more information, call 203-582-8652.