A VOICE FOR THE BULLIED
Gabrielle Fordís Bio
Gabrielle Ford never dreamed that a long-eared coonhound could change her life. But thatís just what happened when she cared for her ailing pet Izzy and found the voice to help others in need as a nationally-known motivational speaker. Today Gabeís incredible story has drawn media attention from The Today Show, Cosmopolitan Magazine and Animal Planet, among others. Her 2009 autobiography Still Dancing shares even more of the inspirational details from her life as a way to encourage others that anything is possible.
As a child, Gabrielle loved dance and dreamed of becoming a prima ballerina. That dream was shattered by a rare genetic neuromuscular disease, Friedreichís Ataxia, that would eventually place her in a wheelchair. Gabe not only struggled with the devastation of the illness, but also endured constant and cruel bullying from classmates. The constant torment took her on a path of depression and isolation.
That all changed when Izzy, a long-eared coonhound pup, entered Gabeís life. Izzy became Gabeís best friend and constant companion. When this special friend mysteriously developed a condition mirroring Gabeís, Gabe re-entered the world to get Izzy the best treatment available.
Speaking out for the voiceless Izzy gave her the courage to speak out for another voiceless group: the thousands of children bullied in American schools every day. Through countless personal trials, Gabe found her way back to the stage as an outspoken advocate against school bullying. In addition to her countless school visits, she has also been a keynote speaker at various conferences and conventions. Her dedication even earned her the 2011 Communications & Leadership Award from Toastmasters International, The 2011 Peace Maker of The Year Award (Gandhi Award /Genesee County MI),as well as the Community Hero Award in 2008 from the Fenton Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Where her story has appeared:
- Animal Planetís A Pet Story
- Cosmopolitan Magazine
- The Today Show
- Guideposts Magazine
- MDAís Quest Magazine
- Michigan Reading Associationís Annual Convention, Grand Rapids, Michigan, March 2011
- Michigan US Senate Judiciary Hearing Committee 2011
- 2011 Michigan Civil Rights Anti-Bullying Forum
- International Reading Associationís Annual Convention, Phoenix, Arizona, 2009
- National Ataxia Foundation Association (NAFA) 2006
- 2012 Delta Kappa Gamma International Society State of Oregon Convention
- 2012 Woman World Magazine story
- 2013 Penguin Publishing will release Gabe & Izzyís first anti-bullying childrenís story book.
To contact Gabe: Gabe resides in Fenton Michigan with her family, canine friends Lindsey Bell and Dominic and feline friends Sweetie and Bob. For more information on Gabe, to book an appearance, or to purchase her book, please visit www.gabeandizzy.com.