Mother-son inspirational speaking duo

Making Lemonade With Ben: The Audacity To Cope

Ben connects with eyes, words, mind and heart.

Ben connects with eyes, words, mind and heart.

“Katherine and Ben are outstanding advocates for all individuals.” 

“Would love to have students of medicine see this!”


Don't want a Powerpoint? No problem!

Don’t want a Powerpoint? No problem!BenFISTpump


“Inspiring and valuable information…”

“Very motivating!”

“Loved, loved, loved this


“Thought provoking!”

“Absolutely on topic…”


“Positive and great use of humor.”

 “Keep going Ben!”


Wisconsin Health Literacy Summit comments, April 2015
Photos courtesy Terri Connelly Cronk

Wisconsin Health Literacy Summit: 7 minute-clip

Keynote staff wide Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District

Keynote Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District

900 on their feet:

900 on their feet: “Absolutely unique!”
“Best in-service ever!”


  • 3rd World AVM Congress, Stanford and University of California-San Francisco, Napa, CA
  • Wisconsin Health Literacy Summit, Madison, WI
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Psychiatry Grand Rounds Guest Lecture, Madison, WI
  • NAMI Dane County Annual Banquet, Madison, WI
  • University of Wisconsin-Platteville Annual Early Childhood Conference, Platteville, WI
  • Inclusion Institute, Inc. & Wisconsin DPI: Institute on Best Practices in Inclusive Education, Wausau, WI


  • Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District
  • Portage Community School District
  • Shell Lake School District
  • McFarland High School      


  • Service Organizations
  • Women’s Organizations
  • Faith Communities
  • Senior Centers
  • Libraries
  • Classrooms
  • Book Stores
  • Book Clubs


To inquire about speaking availability:




Photos and text copyright 2016. All rights reserved.


  1. Carol Klukaczewski

    Katherine, I just finished your book and was blown away by your unflinching honesty in describing what happened to Ben and how you and your entire family rode (and continue to ride) the rollercoaster of challenge, growth , and uncertainty. Ben sounds like an amazing young man, full of spirit and love. Wonder where he got that from? At the end of the day, that is what is staying with me- all of that love that shined a light in some of the darkest days possible.

    I was one of the moms who chaperoned that band trip to London in January, 2011. I remember that you gave us each a little bundle of lavender from your garden. That means even more to me now as I realize what good wishes and healing that represents to you. And, I wish the same for you,too. May Ben continue to thrive and bring joy and may all of you know “normal” days of laughter, companionship, and peace.

  2. Jackie Beilfuss

    Dear Katherine, I met your son Ben yesterday while visiting the Children’s Museum with my 2nd grade class. He was supervising small groups of my students on and off of the “hamster wheel” when he unexpectedly said to me, “Okay, now it’s our turn!” I tried to get out of it with many differerent excuses and finally said,”I really can’t, I have a bad knee.” Ben quickly pulled up his pants leg, showed me his leg and said, “C’mon, let’s go.” So I walked around the hamster wheel to the delight of my class, with Ben holding my hand the whole way. When we got off, he told my students that you had written a book about him (perfect because we are studying biographies) and explained the title. I ordered it today and am anxiously awaiting its arrival. Please say hello to Ben for me. I feel so lucky to have met him!
    Sincerely, Jackie Beilfuss

  3. lori

    My son and I just had the opportunity to meet Ben at the children’s museum. What a delightful young man. We are looking forward to reading the book.

  4. Tom Kobinsky

    Absolutely enjoyed Katherine and Ben’s unique presentation for Middleton-Cross Plains Area School Dist staff on Aug. 28. The book is on my must-read list! Tom Kobinsky


    This is for Ben, who I tried to find on facebook (with no luck):
    This is Katie, who you met cheering at the Ironman with my family a couple of days ago. You challenged me to figure out how old I am in months! I just thought it was so awesome that you were out cheering on the people who inspire you and wanted to let you know that that inspired me. I didn’t get to share with you that I am in school studying genetic counseling and that I work with people who have developmental disabilities, physical disabilities, and/or mental illnesses. Hearing you talk about your job and your hobbies and your family was a reminder to me about how much people can achieve if they have support and love. Keep doing what you’re doing!


  1. Bookshelf « On Wisconsin

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