In the first-ever world disability report published in 2011, Stephen Hawking stated that “disability need not be an obstacle to success.” Public perceptions of disability can be very damaging. These perceptions, which are so far from reality, can frequently sow doubt in the minds of those who live with disabilities. Still, other people’s misunderstandings should not define their abilities.

Despite having limitations, many people with disability, like inspirational author Kristy Mandigo achieved something monumental in life through tenacity, courage, determination, and hard work. They serve as an example for other people by inspiring them to do great things by giving them hope and bravery. On “America Tonight,” Kristy sat with revered presenter Kate Delaney to share her experiences in an empowering radio interview.

From a Humble Farm to the City of Angels

Growing up in a small farm town, Kristy could only appreciate the easy access to medical interventions when she moved to Los Angeles. Now working as the chief engineer of the Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program (MP-RTIP) program, she credits her family, especially her parents, for their relentless love and sacrifices, which eventually paved the way for her to have a career. 

“Now, looking back, I have to give my parents everything…My parents did a lot, and now that I’m a parent, my children also have challenges with various things. I’m now, I guess, able-bodied enough to know what I have to fight for,” shared Kristy. 

Kristy added that her family embraced her aspirations by posing challenging questions that later helped her figure out the path she wanted for herself.

“They never told me I couldn’t do it. They told me how you are going to do it. Why are you going to do it? What are you going to do to get there?” These are some of the questions Kristy’s family asked her. Today, Kristy Mandigo has had numerous technical and strategic roles that have led her to a promising career with multiple awards.

A Legacy of Strength and Empowerment

Kristy’s book, “Ask Why: But Not Why Me?” illustrates how her life has given her the strength to make the impossible possible. She believes it is okay always to ask God and others, “Why?” but not “Why me?” Kristy shared that she wrote the book for anyone, including people from her company and other states as far as Hawaii, who would ask her crucial questions for their child or someone they know.

“They would find me on social media and call me and ask questions that I just felt like if I wrote them down, it would help other people – people I don’t need to know, people that don’t have a condition, but know someone that does, or has aged into a condition, and just needs someone to tell them that today’s gonna be okay,” Kristy said. 

Kristy disclosed that her parents never pushed her to become an engineering legacy. “All of the things that I’ve had, I’ve never really stopped and said, why me? It’s always been, “Why am I doing this?” “What is my drive?” “Who am I doing this for?” “How am I going to do this?”

Kristy found the answers to these questions and wanted to share them with the world. She hopes that through her book, people can find their drive and “ask why?”

“Don’t be told by someone else that they can’t do it because no one can tell you what you can and cannot do,” she emphasized. Kristy represents the message that even though having a disability can be challenging, it’s not always a barrier. Despite the hurdles often coupled with life as a disabled person, overcoming them and achieving what a person desire is possible.

To learn more about Kristy Mandigo, please check out the Spring Awards 2022 issue of Careers and the disABLED magazine by visiting this link:

Find hope and inspiration in Kristy Mandigo’s book. Today, grab a copy of “Ask Why: But Not Why Me?” on Amazon.