SELF ESTEEM SAMPLER
By Kay Walburger
Denise Frankart Was Born
To Be An Entrepreneur!
At the tender age of twelve, Denise Frankart learned that to achieve her dreams of a better life she would have to go out and earn her own way. She reasoned, “ I need to make money by pulling weeds or helping with little errands, so I must do my little jobs so well that they will ask me again!” She set her own standards of excellence and her own work ethic at that very early time when most children are absorbed in playing and exploring the joys of childhood. This was the birth of her Entrepreneur Spirit! Denise is the heroine of a childhood that reads like a Dickens’ story of poverty and clear and present abuses of every kind. Nevertheless, like Oliver Twist, she had moments of wonderment in the midst of horrible daily neglect and cruelty.
As luck would have it, although she grew up in a home in which her family hated each other, she had a magic place to escape. Denise had four sisters and three brothers and the family lived across the street from Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, California. This was a happy, beautiful and educational place where she and her siblings could create a world free from abuse. The miniature replicas of the 12 Spanish Missions (an important part of California History) displayed at Knott’s Berry Farm Amusement and Theme Park ignited her imagination and she made a model of one of the Missions from sugar cubes for a school project.
Someday I hope Denise will write an epic about her life, as it is a struggle with the circumstances that can befall a person through no fault of their own. However, the real story here for me is not the tragedies that befell her young life, but rather the inspiration she demonstrated as she developed her own will to succeed and used her passion and work ethic to solve her predicaments. This story of self-esteem is about her life today and how she plans to help others with life’s challenges and so-called disabilities to reach out to a wider world and nourish their own self-esteem in imaginative and adventurous ways.
On September 20,1980, at age 24, Denise fell from the tailgate of a pick-up truck which was traveling 40 mph. She sustained severe head injuries, which placed her in a coma. She awakened after six and a half weeks to find that she could not walk, talk, or read. She was forced to relearn such basic skills as sitting up, crawling, eating, and dressing. This was a long and difficult time of recovery and her rehabilitation included five years in a wheelchair. She did not always receive the best of understanding or support from her family or friends because they were having understandable difficulty dealing with her disability. Remember she had always been strong and independent as a child and young adult.
While she was trying to regain her life, she dreamed of getting out and seeing things, traveling to new places and having some new stimuli from the adventures travel brings. That is when she discovered there were some important obstacles to achieving her dream of traveling to broaden her outlook on life. It would begin with educating her family and friends who were more afraid of her injuring herself than she was. The next obstacle was knowledge. There was no travel agency that employed an agent who was familiar with her type of disability and thus, could not understand her special needs. The third obstacle was medical, as there was no information about emergency medical treatment or prescriptions if needed. The fourth obstacle was perhaps the biggest of all. It was ‘trust’ — sometimes when a hotel or motel states that they are wheelchair friendly, the travel agents have to take their word for it. This could mean that only one room was actually large enough to accommodate a wheelchair. The fifth obstacle applies to many — it is money to travel, as it can be more costly with all the extras needed to travel with a challenge or disability.
Well, we can count on our heroine Denise to find an entrepreneur’s answer to her own dilemma, as well as other travelers. When she was able to function again, she took a college curriculum for travel agents and decided to go on a cruise. It was difficult for the travel agents to understand exactly what her special needs were. It was then that she decided the travel industry needed an agency to help physically-challenged individuals to have a safe, enjoyable trip! In April 1997, she opened her own travel agency to serve those special needs of all customers.
Physically-Challenged Individuals can have a safe, enjoyable trip!
Denise is excited about this next year because she will be announcing her personally-guided tours for physically-challenged individuals. She has personally traveled to many wonderful places around the world and has scouted the existing conditions. Because of her years in a wheelchair, then a walker, she has extrasensory perception about conditions and accommodations that either hinder or are suitable for the challenged traveler. She has done her ‘due diligence’ regarding the many details that are a concern for her special-niche tourists. She has companions standing by, both men and women if requested. Best of all they will travel for only the fare, instead of the up to $150 a day many traveling companions require. This is a saving to the budgets of those who might otherwise be unable to afford travel.
Her clients may wish to bring spouses, family or friends and they are welcome and will find this a great adventure in which to share. “It is my wish that people who join me will have a personally-enhancing, self-esteeming, and expanding experience that gets them out in the mainstream of life, with all their special needs met.” Denise says, “I have personally gone out myself and checked conditions in such a complete way that I feel very confident making these upcoming travel packages available to people who are longing for an expanded life experience. I’ll be right there to help handle what may show up unexpectedly. I supply such complete information from personal knowledge and experience about travel and what to expect, that people can make informed decisions.”
Denise favors the cruise lines as a means of travel, at least for a challenged person’s first travel experience, because of the safety and convenience they provide. There are medical facilities aboard and many onboard activities, so, if some of the traveling party can not disembark, there is enough going on for their amusement. One of the most important parts of travel for many of her special clients is ‘rest’. Some people suffer from overexertion and need to take time out to rest — on a cruise this is a unique advantage.
Denise is a very interesting and inspiring lady and it was great interviewing her for our Women’s Issue of Awareness, because she is a model of a woman who has developed her Entrepreneur Spirit and her dream to help others become self-sufficient. There is a home-based business boom in the USA and because of the internet, globally as well! Long live the Entrepreneur Spirit!
Thank you, Denise Frankart, for you are a shining example and may the New Millennium bless your every effort!
For more information, call Denise Frankart at Enchanted Travel Tours, (909) 943-1492, or you can check out her website at www.enchantedtraveltours.com
Return to the January/February Index page