Katie Royer was born into a family of strong women.
Though the men are no slouches – father Paul Royer is a retired nuclear engineer, and uncle Dick Knipfing is Dick Knipfing – it’s the women she credits most with inspiring her, guiding her, holding her up and reminding her that she is not just a person with a broken body, but a strong woman with a soaring mind and a giving heart.
Marion Knipfing, her maternal grandmother, was her biggest influence, she says. Strong, determined and classy, she taught Royer that education was the one thing no one and nothing could take away.
Marion encouraged Royer not only to learn well but to teach many, to be relentless no matter how hard it is – to put on her lipstick, put on a smile and show up.
Where her grandmother taught her the importance of the mind and the moxie, the lessons of the heart fell to Royer’s mother, Beth Royer. It is Beth who showed her the selflessness of caring for those most in need – including Katie’s big brother.