Bill Rancic Defends His Wife Giuliana After Fashion Police Controversy: 'I Tried to Get Them to Release the Footage' 42 years, 2,191 covers and 55,436 stories from PEOPLE magazine's history for you to enjoy
- Jacob Tremblay Is This Awards Season's Adorable Little MVP – and His Cute Instagrams Offer All the Proof
- Read the Cover Story: Amy Duggar King: I'm Doing It My Way
- Will Smith Jokes About His Hands-Off Parenting of Jaden and Willow: 'We May Have Gone Too Far'
- 5 Things to Know About Emma Watson's Rugged New Guy
- American Crime Story's Wild Bronco Chase, as Told in GIFs
On Newsstands Now
- Matthew McConaughey: In His Own Words
- Jessa Duggar's Wedding Album
- Brittany Maynard's Final Days
Pick up your copy on newsstands
Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine
People Top 5
LAST UPDATE: Tuesday February 10, 2015 01:10PM EST
PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- May 18, 1981
- Vol. 15
- No. 19
She Suffers from Cerebral Palsy, but Kathleen Barrett Takes Flight as Crusader for the Handicapped
Barrett's determination has made her a national symbol for United Cerebral Palsy (its 30-second TV spot now seen nationwide shows Barrett airborne). She is also a force in Sacramento, as a $16,000-a-year staff services analyst for the state's Department of Developmental Services and as an off-hours lobbyist for the rights of the handicapped.
"I got off to a bad start, you might say," understates Barrett, a San Francisco native. According to her mother, Nancy, a retired department store executive, Kathleen suffered brain damage due to an interruption of her oxygen supply during delivery. When Kathleen was 3 months, her father, a children's clothing salesman, split. But with the help of her godmother, the child was raised to be active—taken to restaurants, horseback riding and even skiing. At 7, Kathleen was trying to learn to skate at Squaw Valley when Bing Crosby grabbed her hand and, she recalls, "We glided along the ice."
At 16, Kathleen made the difficult switch from a special school to a public high school. "It was hard," she says. "People think a person with CP is mentally retarded, and that can hurt." Only her speech and movements, not her intelligence, are impaired. In fact, she graduated with honors in 1970, and was majoring in medieval history at the University of California's Davis campus when State Senator George Moscone hired her over 200 other applicants as his summer research assistant. Barrett, who graduated in 1973, worked for Moscone until he became mayor of San Francisco in 1976. Two years later he was assassinated.
Barrett landed her current job in 1979. Now frequently called upon to testify before committees in Sacramento and Washington, Barrett tackles her audiences' uneasiness head-on, telling them, "I don't mind having cerebral palsy as much as you mind me having it."
Barrett has plenty of examples to bear her out. Because of her rolling walk ("I go as fast as I can to get it over with") and her garbled talk, Kathleen has been stopped by the police on the assumption that she was tipsy, and once when her car broke down she could not get through to AAA; the phone operator kept connecting her with Alcoholics Anonymous. Barrett's favorite T-shirt anticipates such surreal incidents. Its message: I DON'T HAVE CEREBRAL PALSY—I'M DRUNK.
February 09, 2016
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
The most buzzed about stars this minute!