- Advertisement -
by Gwen Hubner
Her father is San Francisco Giants pitching coach Dave (“Rags”) Righetti, the first player in history to both pitch a no-hitter and lead the Major League in saves.
But at 21, Bay Area native Natalee Righetti is already carving out her own identity, which she writes about in her newly published book, Beautifully Different: Living a Grand Slam Life Despite My Disability (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2012).
It’s about being born with cerebral palsy, which left one side of her body partially paralyzed. Though she doesn’t shrink from describing her condition (from epileptic seizures to endless consultations with doctors and experimental, often painful therapies), she is unfailingly optimistic. She is determined to give her life purpose and help others who face similar challenges. We talked with Natalee about her life and her book.
At first, I was just writing the book for the challenge. But when I finished, I realized that it could have a bigger purpose beyond myself. I felt like it could be really inspirational to people with disabilities.
I did have my moments, and I still do...Because of my disability, I couldn’t worry about those other little things that are more typical of teenage girls. Also because of my disability, I have always had to keep active, which makes me feel better about myself. So in this way, my disability is kind of a blessing.
I would tell a teenage girl: Whatever it is about you that you are struggling with, embrace it. Everyone has their thing that is different about them, so learn to wear it like it’s your own style.
They always let us know that we could talk about everything. By being such strong people, they made me feel less worried or scared.
They were really surprised. My dad was in shock. He asked me, “How did you get so smart?”
He is kind of a private guy and never really shows his emotions. But when he read my book, he gave me a big hug and was obviously really proud.
Be as supportive as you can. Help them when they are down and help show the positive side of what they are going through, even though that might be hard to see. Also, be open-minded to your child. Understand that they know how they feel.
Gwen Hubner is a freelance writer who lives in Oakland.
No Band-aid Approaches|
Why all parents should take a first-aid class
Green Dr. Greene|
Family F.Y.I. – Green Family
Kids Run Ragged in a Race to Nowhere|
Family F.Y.I. – Mom’s Minute
How to Bully-proof Your Child|
How to help victims of mean girls and boys
A Compost Primer|
Turning Over an Old Leaf for the New Year Green Parenting (January 2009)
How to prepare your little one for a well-child visit
For the Birds|
How families can care for wildlife
The Newest Twist on Yoga|
Today’s Kids Get Benefits from an Ancient Practice
I have read Natalee's book and highly recommend it to parents as well as teens with or without a disability.
Natalee is such a brave, tallented individual and her positive attitude is truly inspirational.
by Jim Owen
10/14/2012 - 12:02 am
From some one that knows this special girl personally, I am amazed at her accomplishments. And more than that I am particularly proud of the character she has maintained. Natalee has gone through many challenges in her life, and she really does look for the best in everything. Natalee takes on physical tasks in a way that challenges her to excel to her best ability. Beautifully Different is just the beginning for Natalee. She will succeed in whatever she chooses.
by Karyl Owen
Fullerton CA 92831
10/13/2012 - 06:25 pm