Friday, January 31, 2014

A fellow Journalist's humble request.


Dear Anderson,

Today,  I am writing to fulfill a dream.  I've been keeping this dream private for several years now, and I finally have the confidence and professional skills to give it light.  I am writing to request an interview with you!!  I've watched your show since 2004, and it would be an incredible experience to be in the studio...interviewing you!  On the flip side, you may be able to gain some unique insight into a part of society that you may not often encounter - the disability community.

My name is Michelle Fischer.  I live in Lafayette, Indiana and my childhood dream is to be a journalist like you.  I was born with cerebral palsy and had a very normal childhood.  My parents never treated me differently - neither did friends or schoolmates.  My life was cruising along and I had the same plans as most people my age.  I thought I'd get married, have kids, and maybe live in a foreign city in Europe somewhere.

My dreams of a normal life ended one day so quickly.  Out of the blue, I woke up HATING my disability.  I was angry and lost.  I felt as if I was given the wrong person's body somehow!  I beat myself up over not being normal and I was angry at how long it took me to do simple tasks such as getting myself ready in the morning or cooking a meal for myself.  My struggles all came into perspective when I read your book, "Dispatches from the Edge."  I related to everything you felt while going through the devastating loss of your father and brother,  as I was dealing with a profound loss I felt inside of myself.  Since third grade,  I had a dream of pursuing a broadcast journalism career, and through watching and modeling myself after you, I am beginning to realize my goals.  Journalism allows me to cope with my pain and push my worries and anxieties into the background.  Instead, I focus on the art of storytelling and shining a big light on my subject.

At the State House in Indianapolis IN with Arc of Indiana  Executive Director ,  John Dickerson at a Developmental Disabilities Commission meeting
At the 2012 Special Olympics Indiana State Games in Terre Haute  IN.
Interviewing a star athlete,  Andrew Peterson and his Dad Craig
He doesn't let his disability of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome stop him
from being a top notch runner and public speaker!!
I have started what I consider phase one of fulfilling my dream of becoming a journalist.  In November 2009, I became the podcast show host for the Arc of Indiana, a non-profit organization that helps people with disabilities be all they can be, through many supports.  Since this time,  I have conducted 55 interviews with a variety of people, including parents and volunteers,  Executive Directors, CEO's, authors and bloggers.  Spanning topics from Autism and  Self-Advocacy to Employment and Epilepsy. There are no words to describe how much I love my job and I honestly think of you every time I do a show.  I believe I am a voice for people with disabilities and I am the one, through my interviews, that let's them see that although they may feel forgotten, they are not.

On Location at the Special Olympics with Laura, whose son Tom is in
Special Olympics. That's my producer Sally filling in for my sound engineer Bryce!
I have a great team behind me!

Please don't hesitate contacting me.  I know that this request is one you probably haven't seen before. It's taken me a while to build the confidence to reach out to you.  While you're considering this, I have a question for you to think about:  Have you ever met a journalist who has cerebral palsy?  My response to you, if your answer is what I think it will be, is simple: Don't you think its time?

Your fellow Journalist,

Michelle Fischer

I'm ready to work with you! <iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Check out my podcast episodes, I think you will like what you hear!


  1. Way to go for it! I look forward to hearing about your progress on this issue.