Michelle Fischer

Dream job for woman with cerebral palsy

by JACQUIE PETERSON

Part One: Michelle Fischer is a self-taught news host

With a welcoming smile and an intelligent voice of a news anchor, Michelle Fischer, host of A View from My Window, opens her podcast the same every time.

She says, “Hello everybody it’s Michelle Fischer and welcome into a view from my window as always I thank you for joining us today.”

Read part two here.

The making of a podcast

Michelle Fischer and her podcast, A View from My Window, is among the media who cover the Indiana state Special Olympics games.

Michelle Fischer and her podcast, A View from My Window, is among the media who cover the Indiana state Special Olympics games.

Listen closer to the introduction, and you’ll hear the enthusiasm of a woman who is living her dream. Outgoing, cheerful and always ready to offer praise, Michelle effortlessly shows off her self-taught talent as a broadcast journalist through her very own podcast.

A love she’s carried since third grade, now 30, Michelle said “I am a curious person, so being a journalist opens up a perspective that excites me. I get to be a fly on the wall. I get to weave together a story.”

Born and raised in Lafayette, Ind., growing up, Michelle had wild dreams of being a dolphin trainer, an actress, costume designer and a world traveler. But a field trip to a local TV station forever changed her life.

“After that visit, the quest for my dream job began,” she said. “I watched news all the time, and through that exposure, I learned the art of journalism and story telling.”

Her favorite news broadcaster is Anderson Cooper, the primary anchor for the news show Anderson Cooper 360˚ on CNN.

Overcoming the challenge

Fast-forward about 10 years, Michelle still had the itch to try her hand in broadcast journalism. A woman with cerebral palsy, Michelle came upon many bumps in the road while following her dream.

“Before the weight of my situation started to take hold, I thought I had everything figured out,” she said. “I really thought my disability would fade into the background.”

But her goal wasn’t coming together as quickly as she had hoped.

“Many people accomplish things on a fast track,” Michelle said. “I wanted to go quick too, but I didn’t understand my limitations. I didn’t understand that cerebral palsy would have that kind of hold on me.”

When it comes to cerebral palsy, Michelle says it takes a little planning and negotiating to get around, which is easiest when she has assistance from another person or with a wheelchair or leg braces.

“Coping with my disability is a daily process and sometimes that is a challenge in itself,” Michelle said. “There are days I just wish I didn’t have to think so much about how to move.”

Some days she deals with panic attacks and depression. Other days it’s her self-esteem.

“I told everyone who asked that I wanted to be in journalism, and the overwhelming response seemed to be, ‘Oh, that’s nice, good luck with that,’” she said. “Each time I heard that, my self-esteem took a hit.”

Michelle said at that time in her life she had a consuming feeling like she was “falling behind in being like everyone else.”

“I was starting to see myself change into a person I didn’t know,” she said. “I wasn’t moving toward anything by allowing this attitude to start to mold me.”

However, the optimist in Michelle kept moving her forward. The very same goal she had a difficult time achieving helped heal her wounds in a profound way.

Michelle says she loves journalism because it’s all about shining a light on the people she interacts with for each story. By telling other people’s stories, she was able to heal herself.

“I give a very personal part of myself to others’ by telling their story,” she said.

To be continued…

Michelle tells how she became the host of “A View from My Window” – and watch Michelle’s special podcast just for Apostrophe! Find part two here.

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