CURE NATION: Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, Kyla Daniels showing the world that you can do whatever you set your mind to. As the creator behind the YouTube channel “The AbleBodied Chef”, Kyla posts recipes and videos on cooking. She walks her viewers step by step through the recipe, and reviews the finished product. “I was born with Spina Bifida, Scoliosis and club foot. But that hasn’t stopped me from sharing my love of cooking with others.”
She also has a blog where people can find the recipes written down for them to use themselves. “I created my blog to show everyone that nothing can stop them from achieving their goals.”
Kyla doesn’t have an academic culinary background, however that doesn’t stop her. “It is something I love to do. Especially if I’m not in the mood to cook, I will fix something anyway for my family. I love seeing people smile when they try my food and it brings me so much joy.” Kyla says. For her, cooking is therapeutic and a way to give back.
Why a Cooking Channel?
Growing up, Kyla fondly remembers observing her Mom and Grandma cook. “I remember really wanting to be able to do what they did.” Kyla says. However, it wasn’t until Kyla was in high-school that her Mom started to teach her. From that point on, Kyla began to fall in love with the art of cooking, and constantly is pursuing new knowledge.
Alongside videos on cooking and recipe reviews, Kyla also wants the channel to be a platform where she shares what she experiences daily in regards to living with Spina Bifida. Additionally, Kyla interviews her family and friends to share their perspective on watching her grow up with her disability. Kyla feels that it is important to share additional perspectives rather than just her own, to provide further education to her viewers.
The Inspiration Behind the Name “Ablebodied Chef”
“Mostly, it started with my mom. She despises the word “disabled”, and she doesn’t see me like that.” Kyla explains. “So, that is why I picked “AbleBodied”. My mom has always told me that I’m no different than anyone else.”
To Kyla, being disabled is a mindset. The abilities she has are simply different than most people, but to her that doesn’t make her disabled.
Kyla Shares What Having Spina Bifida has Taught Her
“Oh my goodness, that is hard!” she says. “It has taught me how to be patient. My mom said I taught her patience as well. I also believe it taught me perseverance.”
Kyla shares a story that her mom told her of when she was born.
“She told me I was born premature. And the doctors instantly told my mom that I wouldn’t make it. But, my Aunt told my mom “she will be okay. Don’t worry about it.”
A month later, doctors told Kyla’s mom she would never walk. “After they found out I had Spina Bifida, I had to have surgery. I also had a dislocated hip as well. After my second surgery, I had casts on both feet. I should’ve been laying down, but my mom said I was constantly pulling myself up and walking around – with both legs in casts!” she says, laughing. “Even though something may look bleak, you have to be patient and keep going at the same time.”
Advice for Other Individuals with Spina Bifida
“Keep going!” she says. “I’ve been through a lot growing up, and not just because of my disability.”
Growing up, Kyla shares that she felt like a lot of people outside of her family placed pre-conceived judgements on her abilities. Kyla remembers a particular experience in her early teens, right before she entered into high-school.
“Right before I started high-school, I was given a tour of the building. The Principal at the time asked me “are you sure you’ll be able to make it? It’s a pretty big building! Maybe you should go to a smaller school.” and all I could think to myself was, “well, you haven’t even seen what I can do!””
Even with her cooking, Kyla shares that many individuals told her that they didn’t think she could continue to do what she was doing.
“Which is why I say don’t quit. Just keep going. Because if you quit, then they win. You have to keep rooting for yourself.”
Founded by a quadriplegic, Cure Medical supports research programs in pursuit of a cure for urinary retention, paralysis, spinal cord injury and central nervous system disorders.
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