WDRB Hidden Hero: Physical challenges won't stop her
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Fighting through a number of health problems and disabilities, a Louisville woman was once told us she should just stay in bed. But as we discovered, this month's Hidden Hero doesn't have the word "quit" in her vocabulary.
Here are the facts about Inam Shalati: She was born blind, has Cerebral Palsy, a digestive condition called Gastroparesis, which causes her to get sick sometimes multiple times a day, and is a kidney cancer survivor. When her body wants to quit, her enormous heart won't let her.
Shalati makes phone calls from her Louisville home to help others. "Hi, this is Inam with the Cerebral Palsy Kids Center and we're having an auction on Nov 23rd."
It's a job she wants to continue to do, she says, because if she were to quit, that's one less person out there fundraising for organizations like the Cerebral Palsy Center and Make a Wish Foundation."
Shalati makes her next call to check to make sure equipment is working properly. "Are you having any problems with your radio? No, correct?"
Quitting would mean she couldn't make survey calls to Radio Eye listeners in Kentucky, a radio reading service for the visually impaired.
"It gives me sheer joy to be able to help people," said Shalati.
She takes notes using an instrument called a brailler, designed specifically to accommodate a person with Cerebral Palsy. She spends anywhere from 2 to 6 hours a day volunteering, whether it's making calls or working as an aide for blind children in Jefferson County Public Schools.
"I couldn't imagine not helping," she said.
Shalati moved from Pennsylvania to Louisville in 1998. She says advice she got from someone when she asked about a volunteering opportunity in Pittsburgh keeps her motivated.
"They said, 'you are blind, you have Cerebral Palsy. Sit home in a rocking chair and do not move,'" Shalati recalled.
She didn't listen.
"When I need to get sick I stop, take a break, get sick and go back to doing what I'm doing. It lasts 5 or 10 minutes," Shalati said.
She won't stop giving, which is what makes Inam Shalati our WDRB Hidden Hero. She received a $500 check courtesy of Becker Law Office.
Kevin Renfro, with the law office presented Shalati with the check at her home "It is my pleasure on behalf of the Becker law office in partnership with WDRB to recognize you this way you truly are an inspiration for all the things you do to help others."
Shalati will use the $500 to buy a digital audio reader.
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