The Secret Life of a KatGirl
by Kat Magnoli
“Hi, KatGirl!” I have heard that greeting time and time again since I, Katherine Magnoli, have developed the character over a decade ago. Making me wonder, am I KatGirl, or am I, Katherine? After long consideration, I have decided I am both. What’s the difference you ask? Well, first I will tell you the similarities. Both KatGirl and Katherine have very kind hearts and feel compassion for all who have been an underdog at one point or another. Giving them both an immense need to help all of whom they meet who are struggling.
Now, for the differences, there’s really only one; KatGirl can fly and Katherine can’t. Well, I mean Katherine has flown on an airplane and in a wind tunnel but unless she is on top speed in her powerchair Katherine does not have that ability, yet. So, in a nutshell, those are the similarities and differences between the two.
The next question I receive quite often is what does KatGirl mean to me? I always answer in the same way; what does a child mean to a parent? To me, she is someone I have dedicated my life to helping her grow. Every word that she has said and every adventure she has gone on and will go on is a part of me. I can’t begin to tell you how much it means to me to share her with kids all over Florida and beyond. Especially in areas close to home.
This is why I love sharing her stories with the children of Shake A Leg. I mean, Shake A Leg is a fabulous organization that helps children and adults with disabilities find their own inner KatGirl. They do this by giving them a chance, in spite of their challenges, to soar on the open waters. In all honesty, because of all that, they do to make people feel invincible, I feel truly blessed to be a part of it in any capacity. I also could not be more pleased to have Harry and the rest of the staff embrace KatGirl as much as they have. Both she and I are very grateful for that.
One of the things I love most about sharing my stories at Shake A Leg is seeing how quickly the kids grasp the message of kindness, inclusion, and overcoming challenges. All of these are lessons they learn at Shake A Leg, KatGirl just helps solidify it in a creative way.