On this episode of Badass, Kate McQueen shares the story of her son Keenan’s birth, and the terrifying period of time shortly thereafter, when Keenan hovered between life and death. His tiny body was wracked with seizures that were damaging his brain, and at first Kate struggled to get help for him, all the while knowing something was terribly wrong. Finally, Kate was able to get a Dr.’s attention, and at that point it became clear that baby Keenan’s life was in danger. Kate and Kailas then became acquainted with a life they never imagined for themselves, one lived largely inside of a children’s hospital, for the first two years of Keenan’s life. Luckily, Keenan survived those years. Today, he is a beautiful 12 year old boy, with a smile that goes straight to your heart, and he is profoundly affected by all that his body went through at the beginning of his life.
Kate is originally from Ashtabula, Ohio, on the shores of Lake Erie. After attending high school in Columbus, Indiana, she moved to Bloomington to get her undergraduate degree from Indiana University. She worked in the restaurant industry for more than a decade serving, catering, and eventually owning restaurants. After sustaining a significant back injury, she was inspired to help others through massage, as it helped her immensely. She went on to become a massage therapist, and offered body work to clients for 7 years.
She met, and married Kailas McQueen, who is from Bloomington, and decided to put down roots here. After the traumatic birth of her son Keenan, she and Kailas have had to learn how to navigate the world as parents of a child with several life limiting conditions. When her son was 2, she went on to get a Master’s degree in Education. She now lives with her husband, her 12-year-old son Keenan, and 7-year-old daughter Amelia. She is happy and proud to be a public-school teacher, who teaches Kindergarten-6 graders in a multi-age program, where she is dedicated to teaching all types of learners. She also serves on the board of directors for Stonebelt, an agency that advocates for those with disabilities, so that she can use her experience to help others.