Episode #10: Achieving Extraordinary Accomplishments with a Disability with Pam McGonigle
Hi everybody! I’m very excited to share my interview with my friend Pam McGonigle. Pam is in her late 40s and living in Ardmore with her husband and son. She is a development manager at The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration. Pam is a very genuine, honest person, and she has more grit than anyone I have ever met. Pam was born with albinism and, as a result, she has suffered from vision defects throughout her life. She is legally blind. However, that never stopped Pam from achieving anything extraordinary.
In our conversation, Pam talks about how she went to the 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2004 Paralympic Games for track. She tells us the story of the unfortunate setback she encountered in the 1500M race (just shy of 1 mile) in the 1992 Barcelona games, as well as how she courageously found grit and persevered in order to strike gold in the 3000M (2 mile) and bronze in the 800M (half mile). She tells us all about the concept of guide runners and dog guide runners as well – it is so cool!
Pam also tells us about how she sometimes sees her disability as a gift – when she encounters setbacks or failures, she is able to bounce back quickly because she is already wired to navigate challenging situations due to her disability. We also talk about her son JT, who she and her husband adopted from China when he was four years old. JT also has albinism, but just like mom, he doesn’t let that stop him – he is also a runner! I hope you enjoy her interview as much as I did!