A Study in Strength

By Maria Angeles Linares

You can say that Clelia Carcases is a study in strength and perseverance. Born in November 1968 in Venezuela and diagnosed with spina bifida, she immigrated to the United States with her family at the age of 10. One of the consequences of her condition is renal failure. Clelia was on dialysis for 4 years, but that did not stop her. She underwent a successful kidney transplant on February 13, 2017.

Clelia is an incredibly independent woman and has never allowed her condition to slow her down. She has been living on her own since 1994. Clelia graduated from Florida International University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Travel and Tourism. She works for American Airlines as a home-based reservations representative, and she drives her own car.

Despite her physical handicap, she lives and enjoys her life on her terms. She lives with her boyfriend, who is a chef, and to top it off, Clelia is multilingual.¬†She speaks English, Spanish, a little French, and knows some ASL to boot, a skill that comes in handy when you are a reservation representative for a major airline. Clelia’s future looks very bright!


Carcases was born with spina bifida and works for American Airlines as a reservations representative.