“You should never, ever be told you can’t do something just because you have a disability. That disability makes you special and unique!”

Q: What is your name?

A: Kelley

Q: How old are you?

A: 33 years old

Where do you live?

A: Mississippi

Q: What kind of SB do you have?

A: Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus

Q: How can we continue to follow your journey?

A: on Instagram @kelley_rhoades or check out my blog blogginwithKelley.blogspot.com/

Let me introduce myself. I’m Kelley! I am 33 years old and currently living in Oxford, Mississippi. I was born with Spina Bifida and later diagnosed with hydrocephalus (Fluid on the brain). I was born in December of 1984 in Nyack, NY. Before I was born my parents were told I had Spina Bifida and that I would need surgery within hours of being delivered to close the opening on my back. Little did they know that surgery would start a journey that would include ELEVEN (Twelve total) surgeries before the age of 11. Also, countless doctor and hospital visits. My parents were also told before I was even born that I would not walk at all or would always have to use a walker. I do use a walker from the time and I started walking (I didn’t start walking till I was around 18-19 months) then I decided I was ditching my walker at around four-years-old. I was bound and determined I was going to walk on my own like the other kids, I guess you could say I am pretty stubborn when I want to be!


Since ditching the walker, I have graduated High School, got my license (I totally NEVER thought that would happen), gone to college and am currently living very independently in Mississippi. I guess you could say I am a “Go big or Go home” type of girl! I have also never let my disability define me or what I can do.

In November of 2016, I started a walking journey that has taken me further than I EVER could have imagined. On August 26th 2017, I walked in my very first 5K!! Since then I have walked in three more 5K’s and I am getting ready to participate in my FIFTH 5K in just over 2 weeks. This journey has also included me walking over 1,431 miles and I’m just getting started!

You should NEVER ever be told you can’t do something just because you have a disability. That disability makes you special and unique!
Hugs ~ Kelley R. ~


Kelley’s been quite the inspiration to myself and so many other people! (Check out her blog and Instagram.)  She proves that no matter what, you can do anything you put your mind to and as an adult living with Spina Bifida, you can live a long happy life! Good luck on that next 5K Kelley … We’re all cheering you on!

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Kristin Marquis

Hey there! I'm Kristin. I live in the beautiful Seacoast town of Portsmouth, NH with my hubby Matt and our rescue pup Charlie. I was born with Spina Bifida and made this website in hopes that I would reach other people going through the same difficult things as I have and also to inspire others to embrace their differences and live Spina-Beautifully!