By Kara Jackman
Dawn Shaw, motivational speaker, author, and writer gives children and adults with facial differences a way to love and accept themselves through a series of webinars. Shaw was born with a fast-growing tumor called, a a teratoma. The tumor affected her ability to breathe at birth. A tracheostomy was performed so Shaw could breathe and the tumor removed. This left her with some paralysis, a jaw that needed realignment, hearing loss, and paralysis. She owns and operates an Icelandic horse farm where she lives with her husband, Ian, in Washington.
She writes blog articles and has written three books, Facing Up To It, which chronicles her personal story, and Facial Shift: Adjusting to An Altered Appearance, and Friending the Mirror: Changing How You See Your Reflection.
Her book, Friending the Mirror, gave way to a series of webinars. All of them were recorded and saved to her website. The first episode that appears below, introduces viewers to the series and Shaw's goals for them, which are "to help people find beauty through happiness by directly addressing and providing practical solutions for issues and insecurities related to appearance, disabilities and other physical challenges."
There are over 50 webinars available. Her skills as a video and communications professional shine through in these well-scripted recordings where Dawn, and others, share on a variety of different topics around acceptance, diversity, and adversity that come with looking different.
Another of Shaw's webinars we think you should view is Episode 26 called "Beauty = More than a 'Like.'" This episode features Crystal Hodges, a woman born with a portwine birthmark. Unfortunately, an image of her went viral as an Internet meme. Hodges took this negative experience and turned it into a positive by working "to redefine society’s understanding of true beauty via blogging and public speaking, emphasizing that photos are made up of far more than pixels and that we don’t need strangers on the internet to validate who we are," says Shaw. Hodges discusses the value of mentorship and how to find and capture beauty. You can watch it out below.
We will be featuring more of Shaw's words and videos in future CCA blog posts. Shaw is such an inspirational and elegant speaker. We know you will learn so much from her perspective of the herself and the world.