Regional Champion Spotlight: Katherine Magnoli

Living with paralysis doesn’t define an individual, instead it can ignite a flame inside to become a powerful advocate for anyone who is impacted by paralysis. Reeve Regional Champion and local advocate, Katherine Magnoli is the epitome of anyone who strives to make a difference in their local community. Her life is marked by determination and an unwavering commitment to educating people of all ages about living with paralysis.

Katherine Magnoli Selfie

Katherine, a veteran advocate for 15 years, was born with Spina Bifida and is a wheelchair user. Katherine desires to change perceptions, educate and break down barriers. She states her inspiration comes from an unlikely source – children. Katherine has observed how they view disability with a blend of curiosity, fear, and innocence. She saw an opportunity to transform the reactions of children into understanding and admiration. To complete this goal, Katherine authored a series of children’s books titled “The Adventures of KatGirl,” which she believes serves as a creative outlet and powerful tool in educating young minds on how they view disability.

Through her books, Katherine creates stories that not only entertain but also provide important insights on the challenges faced by individuals living with disabilities. Katherine hopes her stories become a catalyst to bullying prevention by tapping into the imagination of young minds to foster a generation that can embrace diversity, instill empathy, and dismantle the misconceptions about disability.

Katherine is not only just a published author, but she is also an advocacy giant within her local community. This past summer, she met with local officials of Sunny Isles, Florida and successfully advocated in convincing the City Council to agree to install three accessible beach mats across its shores. Katherine stated at a Disability Pride Month event, “If we are going to celebrate Disability Pride, we must consider inclusivity needs to be at the front of our minds.” Installing accessible beach mats symbolizes a shift towards full inclusiveness in the public spaces of Sunny Isles. Currently, Katherine is waiting for state approval of the plan and hopes to have the beach mats installed for this upcoming summer season.

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Katherine’s passion for non-stop advocacy is a testament to her desire for creating a more equable society. Her mission is to ensure that all individuals, regardless of ability, are treated with dignity and provided with the resources they need to thrive. One of Katherine's unique strengths is her ability to connect with people of all ages. She understands the importance disability education plays in dismissing myths and fostering understanding for others. Whether participating in community forums, educating legislators, or speaking to children in schools, Katherine uses her personal experiences to provide insight into the daily challenges faced by those living with paralysis. Her methodology is not just to raise awareness but to enact meaningful changes in behaviors and attitudes.

Katherine Magnoli School Reading picture

Katherine is a catalyst for change and embodies every aspect to what a Reeve Regional Champion does for the paralysis community. Katherine states she, “Eats, sleeps, and breathes advocacy and my goal in life is to be the best advocate I can be.” The Reeve Foundation is grateful to have Katherine involved with our advocacy efforts.

This March, Katherine will be emceeing at the Reeve Summit in Washington, DC. The Reeve Foundation is excited to welcome her along with some keynote speakers such as social media influencer Imani Barbarin (also known as Crutches & Spice), ACL’s own Dr. Anjali Forber-Pratt, and author Dr. Ashley Shew. More information and registration can be found on the Reeve Foundation’s Summit website.

Please sign up to become an advocate or contact Gerard Arnum, our Grassroots Advocacy Manager, at and learn more about our Regional Champions Program.

About the Author - Reeve Staff

This blog was written by the Reeve Foundation for educational purposes. For more information please reach out to

Reeve Staff

The opinions expressed in these blogs are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation.

The National Paralysis Resource Center website is supported by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $10,000,000 with 100 percent funding by ACL/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement by, ACL/HHS, or the U.S. Government.