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Karren what happened to your hands?

My hands were stuck in a wringer-type washing machine when I was three years old. The doctors tried to save them but after seven days they had to amputate both hands.

Who are your mentors?

I’ve had several mentors over the years but my greatest mentors have been my parents. They definitely followed God’s word to “train up a child in the way he should go” in their own special way. My Dad taught me to eliminate disempowering words and believe that you can. He would never accept me telling him that I couldn’t do something. My Mom taught me how to persevere despite the obstacles or challenges in life. She primarily demonstrated that you “do what you have to do”.

Someone said they saw you driving. Is this true? How do you drive?

Yes, it’s true, I can drive. I took a driver’s education class when I was fifteen. I don’t have any special devices in my car and I can drive an automatic as well as a five speed with my arms. I consider driving to be my most significant accomplishment. I use the driving techniques and operating care of a car to illustrate how we as individuals can be successful.

You’re an Accountant. You must write and type a lot on your job. Was it hard to learn how to write and type?

My grandmother taught pre-kindergarten classes and she and my parents taught me how to hold the pencil using both arms. Then I perfected my writing skills over the years. I learned how to type my freshman year in college. I didn’t have the money to pay someone to type my papers so I had to type them myself. Over the years I’ve developed a few typing skills. It was frustrating at first because I have to look at the keyboard while I type but I’m much faster now. I can type faster than some of the people in my staff.

Who combs your hair? Do you dress yourself?

I can comb my hair and dress myself. Of course like many women, I do go to the salon and have my hair professional styled. Over the years, I’ve learned how to style my hair different ways. I can use the curling iron for days when I need to “bump” the ends. Sometimes, my husband will put my hair in a pony tail or french twist it for me. He’s gotten pretty good over the years.

It’s amazing that you can swim.

Yes, I can swim. I learned how to swim when I was a teenager. I don’t like deep water so I stick to swimming in a pool where I can see the bottom. I hope one day to scuba dive with my husband because I’ve heard that the coral reefs and plants are beautiful.

What are your dreams and aspirations?

My desire is to inspire and encourage people to do what they shouldn’t be able to do. Many people have experienced events or obstacles in their past that on the surface should prevent them from striving onward and accomplish their goals and dreams; however, I strive to show them that all things are possible if they believe that they can and couple that with a positive attitude that is motivated with determination.