Kelly Bruno is anything but weak.
She competes regularly in triathlons and marathons.
She is an anesthesiology resident at UNC Hospitals — not to mention she was a contestant on the reality show Survivor: Nicaragua.
And she is disabled — which she has no problem telling the world.
“I think a lot of people have kind of a negative connotation with the word disability,” Bruno said. “I don’t think that the word disabled has to imply this negative thing. It doesn’t mean that I’m anything less. It doesn’t matter what you call it as long as you’re seeing that person as capable.”
Bruno spoke to students Wednesday at an event organized by Advocates for Carolina, LimBionics of Durham and UNC’s Department of Accessibility Resources and Service.
UNC senior Katie Savage, president of Advocates for Carolina and an amputee herself, was inspired by Bruno.
“Hearing Kelly (Wednesday) discuss that she even has challenges and that embracing her own disability was a process makes me want to go even further and bring more healing and light toward something which at one time brought me shame,” Savage said.
Brittany Stresing, president and owner of LimBionics of Durham and friend of Bruno’s, said Bruno’s attitude can serve as motivation for all students.