top of page

Cara Yar Khan - Humanitarian and Disability Advocate. 12-day Grand Canyon descent and expedition

Cara Yar Khan - Humanitarian and Disability Advocate sharing more about her life and doing a 12-day Grand Canyon descent and expedition on horseback

International human-rights advocate, Cara Elizabeth Yar Khan, deep in the throes of an aggressive, fatal muscle-wasting disease, ventures out on a daring, 12-day Grand Canyon descent and expedition – on horseback and in whitewater rafts. The journey into the Canyon mirrors Cara’s personal journey, as she and her team battle physical and mental adversities that threaten to kill, wound, or undo them without warning. But a journey that begins as a quest for representation and dramatic advocacy quickly becomes an exercise in survival. When Cara suffers a serious head injury one hour into the descent, the team and crew realize that her life, and theirs, hang on each step, each handhold, each group decision. Cara’s journey to live an extraordinary life and shatter stigma against people living with disabilities unexpectedly becomes a deep dive into fear, trust and vulnerability. As the entire expedition team grapples with unanticipated dangers in a truly remote wilderness, they also come face to face with their individual demons, insecurities, and internal conflicts. HER INESCAPABLE BRAVE MISSION is a story of fear, adrenaline, ambition, determination, hubris, courage, and perseverance against the odds. An emotional and transformational journey for anyone who has ever found themselves, inescapably, on the edge of a cliff. Cara in her own words: - My life has been extraordinary, full of ups and downs. I’ve had enormous privilege and a fair share of adversity to overcome. I was born in India, November 20, 1976 to an Indian father and English mother. We immigrated to Canada where I grew up and completed my studies up to my undergraduate degree. Thanks to a lot of determination and hard work, I fulfilled my childhood dream to help vulnerable and marginalized children by working with the Untied Nations. So far it’s been an exhilarating international career that has spanned 11 countries but not without enormous challenges. At age 30 I was diagnosed with a rare muscle wasting disease that leads to quadriplegia: Hereditary Inclusion Body Myopathy (HIBM). It was frightening news because I did not have any experience with disability or chronic illness. But the journey has been powerful. I now live proudly as a woman with a disability, and advocate against stigma and discrimination to break as many glass ceilings as possible. New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time! Make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss out! *Please be aware suicide in mentioned during this episode (we do not got into any details) but it is talked about. The tough girl podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. To find out more about supporting your favourite podcast and becoming a patron please check out


Listen to Cara Now!

Click here if you can't see the link below.


Show notes

  • Who is Cara

  • Being born in South India to an Indian Father and a British Mother

  • Moving to Canada as a baby

  • Figuring out what she wanted to do when she was 6 years old

  • Wanting to help children

  • Wanting to work for the United Nations

  • Growing up shy

  • Getting through major life challenges

  • Losing her mother at 17 years old

  • Having amazing role models in her life

  • Correlation between confidence and performance

  • Doing her Masters after 10 years of working

  • Winning an international competition with the UN to do a paid internship

  • Being poached by the private sector

  • Having a life shift in her career

  • Being diagnosed with HIBM - Hereditary Inclusion Body Myopathies

  • The impact on her life and career

  • Moving to the USA at the end of 2013

  • Wanting to have a grand adventure in America

  • 2014 - 2018 - the planning and preparation

  • Learning how to ride a horse

  • The challenges of the descent into the Grand Canyon

  • Making a movie/documentary film

  • Finding out she was scared of heights

  • Dealing with a head injury on the descent down

  • Lessons learned from the challenge

  • Why you will surprise yourself

  • Final words of advice


Social Media


Feeling inspired week after week?

You can do 3 easy things to help me continue to grow the podcast!

  1. Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes, so you won’t miss a single episode

  2. If you’re loving the podcast, please leave a 5-star review on iTunes! I read every single comment!

  3. Share the podcast with your friends, especially if you think it could help them, and spread the #ToughGirlPodcast love.

Your support helps me continue to grow the podcast and do inspiring things in this space! Already done all 3? You’re a rockstar! Thank you!

Want to do more?

Please become a Patron and donate US$5 a month to help fund the runnings costs. Thank you.

Become my Patron


bottom of page