A woman who was born with one arm and half of her legs has revealed how her mother told her the disabilities were due to an attempted abortion when the parent was a teenager.
Charlie Rousseau, 25, of Rouyn-Noranda, in Quebec, Canada, said she grew up as a “normal kid” and “didn’t know she was disabled” until she was a teenager.
But when she was a teenager, her mother told her that the reason she was born with her disability was because the parent had tried to have an abortion and claimed it had gone wrong.
The radio host told FEMAIL: ‘The doctor would have told my parents to keep the baby, even though the abortion process was not yet complete. They could have moved on, they could have sued the hospital, but we lived in a small town and my parents didn’t want to make a big deal out of it.’
However, she has said that she will not allow her disability to bring her down, and instead has traveled the world for the past few years.
Charlie Rousseau, 25, from Canada, told FEMAIL how her mother told her her disability was due to an attempted abortion when the parent was a teenager
The 25-year-old, who works as a radio host, was born with half her legs, an arm and a thumb (pictured)
When Charlie reached college age, she decided she wanted to build her confidence and started working as a radio host
Meanwhile, she has traveled the world in recent years, visiting Great Britain, Mexico, Ibiza, Portugal and Australia
Charlie grew up feeling like a normal kid. She said her parents were determined to raise her like all other school friends.
The 25-year-old said: ‘I didn’t realize I had a disability until I was 16. My parents sent me to a normal school and I had normal friends. I had a big character, so I fit in just fine.
“It wasn’t until I got interested in dating and fell for guys that I really accepted my disability and was so different.”
Charlie said that as she grew up and became interested in boys, she “finds herself handicapped.”
She said, “When guys tried to kiss me, they had to bend over. I really thought, will I ever have a boyfriend?”
But when she was a teenager, her mother took her aside, claiming that her disability was the result of a failed abortion attempt.
She got prosthetic legs, but Charlie rarely uses them, preferring to rely on her own legs
She said: ‘My mother decided to have an abortion, but unfortunately it went wrong. My parents believed it would ruin my life if I made a big deal of it because the story would be everywhere when I grew up.”
When Charlie went to college, she decided to build her confidence, explaining, “I’ve decided I’ll have a boyfriend, I’ll live and people will love me.”
She got her first job at the age of 19 as a junior radio host, explaining: ‘I never had a job as a teenager because no one would give it to me.
‘All my friends had part-time jobs, but I didn’t. So when I got this job at a radio station, I was over the moon. And I love it. I think it also contributed to my self-confidence.’
In September 2019, she decided to travel to the UK to teach French at schools in Shrewsbury, including The Priory School and Meole Brace School.
The 25-year-old said she grew up feeling like a ‘normal kid’ and ‘didn’t know she was disabled’ until she was a teenager
From then on, she decided to travel the world and experience other opportunities – and despite confessing that she finds it difficult to carry her bags and has difficulty in airports – she has since visited Mexico, Ibiza, Portugal and Australia. .
“People are very friendly everywhere, it’s great to travel,” Charlie said. ‘When I ask people, they help me quickly. Just live your life. Do not waste time.’
It was around this time that Charlie started a TikTok and Instagram page.
“Initially it was to share my photos with family and friends so they could all see my journey,” she added. “I never started them to become an influencer. But soon I got comments and so many people started following me.’
A video Charlie shared of her driving her modified car has been viewed 3.9 million times on the social media platform.
The radio host, who confessed to having trouble carrying her bag and traveling through airports, loves to explore different parts of the world
She spent several years traveling to different parts of the world before returning to Canada during the pandemic
But because of the pandemic, she had to give up her travels and return to Canada.
She said: ‘I was in lockdown for weeks, I was alone, my family was very concerned about me. So I flew back to Canada, I was very sad that my trip had come to an end.’
By the winter of 2021, Charlie was desperate to get back on the plane and eventually reached Mexico. And in January of this year, she finally came back to Britain.
Many of Charlie’s followers like her cheerful positive nature, despite her daily difficulties.
She posts videos of her struggle to complete basic tasks like straightening her hair. She finds it impossible to tie her hair in a band.
Charlie first traveled to Britain in September 2019 but had to leave due to the pandemic, eventually returning in January this year to finish her trip
Charlie has never considered surgery, but she did get prosthetic legs, but sometimes she prefers to use only her own two legs.
Charlie has said that now that she is older, and now that she understands what has happened, according to her mother, she may one day decide to look at it – but for now she wants to continue her dream of working and living remotely, and see the world.
“Nobody knows how long they’ve been here, don’t waste that time,” she added. “Make friends, go out, go to that restaurant, take that flight. Say yes!’