Jean Abbott

Jean Abbott

Jean Sharon Abbott was misdiagnosed as a young child with Spastic Dipligia, a form of Cerebral Palsy. After 33 years of countless doctors visits, medical procedures, unnecessary medications and surgeries, she was correctly diagnosed with Dopa Responsive Dystonia (DRD). Jean enjoys all the adventures of her new life, but wouldn't change the journey that brought her to where she is today. Her positive attitude is highly contagious as she encourages others to appreciate the little things in life.

Jean's powerful story of perseverance no matter what life brings will have you laughing one minute and crying the next. Since she appeared on the Today Show, Good Housekeeping, Yahoo!, and the U.K.'s "Daily Mail", an overwhelming number of people from around the world have contacted Jean to tell her how inspired they were by her journey from "wheels to heels".

Most Requested Programs

Wheels to Heels: A Positive Purpose
Jean shares her journey of misdiagnosis and how her sense of purpose along with a positive attitude enabled her to survive three decades of unnecessary medical treatments. She is sure to inspire and motivate you to live a more positive life!

Upon request, this presentation can be faith based.

Key Takeaways:

  • Finding your support systems and understanding you can't always do it alone
  • Practical ideas for training your brain to think more positively: acceptance, turning a negative attitude into gratitude, appreciating the little things in life
  • Finding your passion in life, and living it

The Diagnostic Process: The Patients Perspective
​As an expert patient, Jean shares the long and winding road to receiving her correct diagnosis. Present and future medical professionals will be inspired and motivated to change the lives of patients in need.

Key Takeaways

  • The importance of dialog between the provider and patient when determining a diagnosis
  • Understanding the need to listen to the patients needs through stories and feedback and how the provider can respond appropriately.
  • Practical ideas for training your brain to think more positively in stressful situations

Misdiagnosed: Be the Person You Are Meant to Be

Aren’t we all misdiagnosed or misunderstood in one way or another? It is human nature to judge others based on first impressions; intelligent, athletic, driven, lazy, rich, poor? Jean was misdiagnosed and misunderstood most of her life by peers, co-workers, and complete strangers by the way she looked on the outside. Jean will share with you how she overcame being critiqued by others to become a strong, independent and successful woman. You will be empowered to take charge of your life and focus on the good in others.

Key Takeaways:

  • Understanding the importance of empathy as we come in contact with friends, family and acquaintances
  • Learn how to avoid diagnosing others based on first impressions
  • Practical ideas for training your brain to think more positively: acceptance, turning a negative attitude into gratitude, appreciating the little things in life
  • Learn how to embrace your authentic self by focusing on your strengths


We were so fortunate to have Jean Abbott speak at our medical conference this year. Our clinicians found her story to be incredibly inspirational. Her messages, including how we really need to listen to our patients and find out what matters most to them, truly resonated with us. Jean is simply a powerful and uplifting speaker! We are so grateful that Jean shared her journey with us. - Gundersen Health

Thank you for sharing your energy and your joy with 345+ participants on a cold and dreary February day.
Your message was contagious and long lasting. You were a joy to work with in the planning and execution
of all that goes into a joy conference. You have a valuable life story to share of what you have
experienced, how you persevered and how you have made a difference in the lives of others. - Joy Conference, University of WI, Madison

Highly engaging, great message. Received a standing ovation from our group! - Cleveland Leadership Center

Jean was excellent! She spoke to our employees to kick off a mental wellbeing campaign we were having called Paths to Positivity. Jean's talk was very inspirational and motivational. Her positive attitude in the face of very difficult circumstances was particularly impactful to our employees. She wowed the audience with her positive attitude and interesting and entertaining talk. We highly recommend her! - City of Minneapolis

Jean's story, as amazing as it is, made each person in the room feel like they had known her forever. Her calm presence and the way she added humor to a sensitive subject was great! Her message on appreciating the little things in life and that we are all here for a purpose was refreshing, meaningful, and thought provoking. Many thanks for a wonderful event! - Presbyterian Homes