Stilwell inducted into the Canadian Disability Hall of Fame

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PQBeat podcasts are produced by the Black Press Media team at the Parksville Qualicum Beach News on Vancouver Island.
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Host Peter McCully welcomes world-class athlete Michelle Stilwell, recently inducted into the Canadian Disability Hall of Fame.

The Parksville resident humbly acknowledged the company of her fellow inductees, including Chantal Benoit and former Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Their collective accomplishments have made significant strides towards inclusion and employment for individuals with disabilities, a testament to the power of advocacy.

Stilwell’s Paralympic career has taken her to various corners of the world, from Beijing to Switzerland, France, Australia, New Zealand and many more. While her busy schedule often limited sightseeing, her time training in Australia holds a special place in her heart.

Reflecting on her time on the podium, Stillwell shared that those moments are not just about national pride but also personal achievement, adding “I wish I could bottle those feelings and sell them.”

The former Parksville-Qualicum MLA (2013 to 2020), Stillwell empowers and motivates others with her storytelling. She connects with her audience by sharing her experiences, showing them hope and inspiring them to make positive changes in their lives. She has been in demand as a public speaker, once addressing a group at NASA.

The podcast delves into Stilwell’s role as a supporter of the Pacific Autism Family Network, a cause close to her heart as her son Kai is on the autism spectrum. Kai's remarkable journey from a young child with challenges to a successful entrepreneur is a testament to the power of support and understanding. He now runs a gourmet popcorn business and actively participates in the community.

Stilwell's story is a poignant narrative of resilience, determination and the power of the human spirit to overcome adversity.

"Obstacles are just something that's meant to get around. Something that stands in your way and you have to find a way to get around it,” said Stilwell.

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