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Hogan’s positive message shines in videos, handmade crafts

MADISON – Charisse Hogan shares her story of perseverance in YouTube videos and makes crafts that encourage others to stay strong.Hogan, 19, has cerebral palsy and ataxia. “At birth, the umbilical cord had a knot and was around my neck. I had no oxygen for seven minutes,” she said. Doctors said she would be wheelchair-bound.

At eleven months old, Hogan started physical therapy. She entered kindergarten with a walker and leg braces, walked with forearm crutches at seven and on her own with a limp by age nine.

Charisse Hogan makes "disability awareness bows" from duct tape and shares her message of hope in YouTube videos. (CONTRIBUTED)
Charisse Hogan makes “disability awareness bows” from duct tape and shares her message of hope in YouTube videos. (CONTRIBUTED)

In second grade, classmates started bullying her. At Bob Jones High School, “some students mocked me because of the way I talk, walk and sometimes jerk,” Hogan said. Her senior year improved when she helped students with challenges, joined a cheerleading squad and performed in a play.

Hogan hopes “to spread more understanding of disabilities to as many people as I can … and always keep hope and never give up during struggles.”

She recently started making “disability awareness bows” from duct tape. The bows’ colors represent disability ribbons. She also creates personalized ones.

By selling bows, Hogan is saving to help Toys for Tots. She takes email orders at jazzygirl585@hotmail.com.

In May 2011, Hogan received the Madison City Disability Advocacy Board. A Bob Jones teacher nominated her after watching Hogan’s YouTube video, “Charisse: Living with Cerebral Palsy” (youtube.com/user/jazzygirl585).

Her parents are Bob and Patty Hogan. He works at United Launch Alliance. She is a homemaker.

In 2009, the Hogans moved from Colorado to Madison with his job transfer. “We settled in Madison because of the great school system,” Charisse said. She transferred from Columbine High School and graduated from Bob Jones in 2012.

Today, her aches and pains from movement may become arthritis and scoliosis. “I’m hoping to move forward in life to become more independent as an adult.”

Hogan wants to work with children with mental or physical disabilities. “Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services is currently trying to place me,” she said.

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