Where There Is A Will, There Is A Way - Living Life As An Amputee

Audrey works hard to shift perceptions on disability in the Caribbean (picture courtesy of Audrey Cakin)
Audrey works hard to shift perceptions on disability in the Caribbean (picture courtesy of Audrey Cakin)

How An Amputee Changed Things In Martinique

The Active Amputee recently engaged in a new partnership with yoocan, a global collaborative community for and by people with disabilities. We join hands to share more inspiring stories by amazing people with a wider audience. Expect a new article from this cooperation about once a month. And I am very happy to open this collaboration with the story of Audrey Cakin, a double amputee from the Caribbean.



Making Martinique My Home

My name is Audrey. I was born 33 years ago in France with Spina Bifida. The  doctors amputated me at a young age. I was so young that I have no memories of my legs. Many people say it's a miracle because I didn't suffer or have to mourn the loss of my legs, but they are wrong. Unlike people who become disabled, I have only known this life without legs. In my young age, I used to miss what I never knew! However, I am the kind of positive person in the extreme. I grew up in a school for people with disabilities, which taught me to accept my differences and live without being slowed down. 


At the age of 15 I moved to Martinique, a small Caribbean island. Everything was different there. Very little was created for people with disabilities. The locals were not used to seeing anyone "different." They even believed I was inferior and incapable.




I Can Do Anything Even Though I Am An Amputee

Since that time period in my life, my only mission has been to change people's perceptions of those living with disabilities by constantly going where I wasn't expected to go. If a school didn't have access for me, that's where I went. If a teacher didn't want or know how to act in the presence of a student with a disability, I went to his/her class and made sure to be the best student. 


No sports teacher ever accepted students with disabilities at the time. I found a coach and learned everything possible about sports. I tried basketball, swimming, tennis, archery, etc. I created a connection between my coach and teacher so that no child will ever feel excluded again and will be able to participate in sports classes.




How Being An Amputee Changed The Isle Of Martinique

After obtaining several diplomas in sports management at the age of 23, purchasing my own vehicle, building my house at the age of 26, winning several gold medals at the French Championship (100m, 200m and 400m), and being honored with the title of best athlete in Martinique (all categories: disabled or not) allowed me to change people's perceptions of individuals living with disabilities. I'm currently working on the General Council of Martinique as a writer and project manager for the development of disabled sports on the island. 


I love Martinique now. I’ve visited many different places, enjoyed the beaches and rivers, gone to clubs and have had lots of fun, discovered the traditions and culture, met people and had the chance to give them some of my positive attitude. It's just nicer to do all that under the Caribbean sun! I may not change the whole wide world, but the least I can do is try! My mission is not yet finished, but you know it well: I can do anything, right?!




Guest post by Audrey Cakin. Audrey is a double amputated and says of herself that she has been blessed twice:"I am positive and capable of doing anything!" You can follow Audrey on Instagram. Her story was first published by yoocan, the global collaborative community for and by people with disabilities. Her story kicks off our collaboration with yoocan, further increasing the circulation of inspiring stories by inspiring people from all around the world.