Katherine Elizabeth Itacy, nee Johnston, was born and raised in Warwick, Rhode Island. After being born with Spina Bifida Occulta, enduring a tethered spinal cord (due to a fatty tumor wrapping around the cord) and developing Type I Diabetes at the age of four, Kate still managed to win eight high school track and field national championships in the hammer and weight throws. She was a three-time Gatorade Rhode Island Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year, a five-time state champion, and an ECAC Championships record holder in the twenty-pound weight throw. In fact, her athletic accomplishments led to her induction into the Rhode Island Interscholastic League Hall of Fame in 2017.
Kate went on to accept a full athletic scholarship to Penn State, where she graduated with Bachelor of Arts degrees in both Sociology and Crime, Law & Justice, as well as a minor degree in Women’s Studies. After college, Kate accepted an academic scholarship to Roger Williams University School of Law. In 2008, Kate graduated magna cum laude, finishing fourth in her law school class and graduating from the school’s honors program.
Attorney Itacy (then Godin) then practice law in Rhode Island and Massachusetts for the next six years; five of which were spent running her own law firm. For more than two years after that, she went on to work as a legal research and writing specialist (LRAWS) for the Office of the Federal Public Defender for the Western District of Texas.
Unfortunately, complications from her diabetes, as well as a recurrence of her tethered spinal cord caused Kate to retire based upon disability from her job. She is now completing a memoir regarding her experiences in track and field and her evolution as a young female athlete, as well as how her lifelong medical disabilities both strengthened and challenged her along the way. The book will focus on the thirty years between her first and second tethered cord, and will outline the lessons Kate has learned from life, love athletics, living with a diseased body, practicing criminal defense and advocating for a more equitable and just society.
Kate will share how both her struggles as well as her success have shaped the person she has become. She hopes that by doing so, the book will empower young men and especially young women, with or without physical disabilities, to strive towards their goals and to view life’s obstacles as opportunities for self-growth, not as barriers.
To contact the author regarding her manuscript, entitled: “From National Champion to Physically Disabled Activist: My Lifelong Struggles with a Diseased Body, and the Lessons it Has Taught Me Along the Way,” feel free to use the Contact page on the website, or email Kate at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to her blog, Kate also co-hosts and produces a podcast with Nicole Marchesseault, entitled: “Hammer Time with Nikki and Kate: A Disabled Lawyer and a Personal Trainer Walk into a Podcast.” You can find their website here, or can follow them on Tumblr, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ or Facebook. Their podcast is also available to stream on iTunes and Google Play.