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 for fifteen years. 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. Since retiring, she has written 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, Relentless: From National Champion to Physically Disabled Activist (July 28, 2020, E.L. Marker) focuses on the thirty years between her first and second tethered cord, and outlines 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 shares how both her struggles as well as her successes 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 memoir, which is currently available in paperback on her publisher’s website and available on Amazon as an e-book or in paperback, 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 hosts and produces a podcast entitled: “The Phunky Diabetic Podcast.” You can find the podcast’s website here, or you can follow it on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.