Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Courageous young girl with scoliosis writes book to raise awareness and help others


Thirteen-year-old Auckland girl Kate Chandulal would love to be just like everyone else. Diagnosed with scoliosis at birth and contracting meningitis at the age of five, life has been far from ordinary for Kate.

Seeking solace in reading and with a gift for storytelling, Kate has written a book about her experiences, A Walk in My Shoes, in the hope that it will foster greater awareness and understanding among her peers.

Kate says, “My longing in life is to be like others, to belong and not be left out, like the ugly duckling was in the story. When I experience rejection or become an object to poke fun at, I have a heavy sinking sadness inside and want to ask, “Why are you being so mean? I’m just like you inside.”

Kate challenges readers to walk in her shoes and to have empathy and understanding for those whose life is different from their own. She hopes that by reading her book, people will realise how painful it is to be stared at, rejected and bullied, just because, as Kate says, she was born with a syndrome that makes her face look different, like a mixed-up jigsaw puzzle!  
Kate’s message is also one of resilience and hope. Despite her physical limitations, Kate loves young children and is positive about the life she has and hopes that her story will reach hundreds of children all over the world.

Global Ed (GES) is the proud publisher of Kate's first story, which they publish in conjunction with Scholastic in April 2017, as part of their ‘Into Connectors’ series. ‘Into Connectors’ supports students to strengthen and construct meaning collaboratively with their peers, and A Walk in My Shoes encourages responsive and responsible reading by students.

GES Directors Jill Eggleton and Tracy Strudley said, “We have published hundreds of books and this is the first time we have published one by an author as young as Kate. In itself, this is a remarkable achievement; even more remarkable because it’s from such an extraordinary and resilient young woman.”  

Jill Eggleton met Kate (pictured together here) when volunteering at Starship Children’s Hospital in a teaching support role. Bowled over by her bubbly personality and imaginative writing skills, Jill said, “The teachers at Starship Hospital were enthusiastic about Kate’s writing, sharing with me a story Kate wrote while she was yet again in hospital. Like them, I recognised that here was a true gem. A Walk in My Shoes is an honest, thought-provoking story from the heart of a courageous young girl for whom living is a constant challenge.”

GES and Scholastic will host a special morning tea and book launch for Kate Chandulal on Monday 10 April. Media are welcome to attend; for further information, please contact Sarah Thornton, Thornton Communications,




No comments: