In September 1989, Patti started her dream job; teaching high school physical education. However, five months later, before the end of her first year of teaching, she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Ten years later, she left the only job she ever wanted due to worsening symptoms of MS.
In 2001, Patti went back to university to pursue graduate studies at the University of Toronto. Her ultimate professional goal was to teach and supervise others keen to enter the same profession. In 2005, she graduated with a Ph.D. in Teacher Development. Her research focused on the impact of chronic illness on teacher identity. However, she never secured a tenured position as a teacher educator and went on long-term disability in 2007. Fourteen years later, she discovered her life with MS was far richer when she focused on living each day as her best self. We chat about the impact of chronic illness on our lives and the changes required to shift our focus away from the struggles of dealing with a life changing condition to the wonder of being in the moment and just enjoying life in all its fulness.
From the heart
a message from Patti
I live in a small town with my husband and two labrador retrievers named Bella (black) and Trooper (yellow). Recently, Trooper and I finished the training required for him to be my service dog. His ability to sense when I need his support amazes me every day.
I like to crochet, walk, and spend time with friends. My dad is my hero, and my mom was my best cheerleader - lol! I love the taste of good coffee, and Venice, Italy is my favourite place in the world.
I am a lifelong learner. I earned a:
Bachelor of Physical Education (UBC)
Bachelor of Education (UBC)
Masters of Science (Oregon)
Hearing my thesis supervisor call me Dr. Bevilacqua is the highlight of many years of schooling.
I have a great sense of humour, like volunteering in the community and believe things happen for a reason.
Five more Fun Facts about ME
I was born in Michel, BC, and this town doesn't exist anymore.
I was the valedictorian of my graduation class at UBC in 1988.
My favourite food is Greek!
In 2011 I went to the Rugby World Cup tournament in New Zealand
My all-time favourite movie is Pay it Forward.
My Favorite Saying
You are now at the top of my Christmas card list!