Learn why this Viral Message is so Important

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Meet Brittany!

Brittany was disheartened after going to a restaurant and having the waitress completely ignore her when Dystonia made it difficult for her to enunciate. After first relocating to another restaurant, she wrote a note to the rude waitress and then delivered it. She shared it on Facebook saying,

Please share this to prevent this from happening again anywhere to anyone ( age, gender, race, nationality, religion, ethnicity, social or economic status, sexual orientation, health condition, disability or ability)
I was completely ignored when I went up to order food (they just walked away from me). My friend and I stood there for a second in total disbelief, thinking did that really happen?!?! I had to do something about it so I wrote this letter. About 10 minutes later, I came back and gave it to the staff and stood there while each of them read it!

For those of you who can’t read my chicken scratch of handwriting… here is what it says

Hi, My name is Brittany Adler. I am 24 years old. I graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Exercise Science and Heath Science. I plan on getting my Doctorate of Physical Therapy. I also happen to have Dystonia, a condition that affects my muscle tone and speech. Just because I have this disability doesn’t mean I should be disrespected. It is a good thing that I am a strong individual otherwise, I would have been devastated. With that being said, everyone, including people with disabilities, should be respected equally… even though it may be harder to understand them. You should never give up on people. Everyone has something to say!
Sincerely, Brittany


Shortly thereafter, her note went viral.

11907990_10153524385640549_2003761569_nPatient Worthy had the pleasure of learning a little more about Brittany and her story.
Brittany describes herself as,

“A regular 25 year old with crazy curly reddish/copper hair. That loves fashion and children. I love to laugh and would do anything for anyone. Oh and I happened to be diagnosed with Dystonia”

In other words, Dystonia is her diagnosis but it doesn’t define who she is. She’s happy that her story has reached so many people, but she was originally hesitant to post it. She doesn’t like to be the center of attention. Check out our interview below to see what her motivation was and get a glimpse of the woman behind the letter.
PW: “What made you decide to post it anyway?”
Brittany: “I was telling one of the moms of a kid I work with that has CP(cerebral palsy) and is in a wheelchair what happened and showed her the pic of the letter, and she was like omg, this stuff is constantly happening to her and her schoolmates, it’s like they can’t look at them like with so much ignorant about differences, you need to do post this on somewhere and people need to see this. I thought about it for a while, if this is how Miami, a melting pot, treats people than what about the rest of the U.S. I am Jewish so there’s something Tikkun Olam which means repairing the world so I grew up learning the importance of doing good and making a difference. I also grew up with a lot of different types of people in my life. One of my best friends is gay, another is from Argentina, another good friend is black…etc. and I would hear stories where they have been discriminated against because of those differences.”11913073_10153524383745549_113849141_n

PW : “ So you’ve always been accepting to all kinds of differences and hearing those stories made you want to make the world more accepting as well? Have you had people react negatively to dystonia before the restaurant?”

Brittany: “Oh ya. Everyday of my life I fight to have a normal live, not because of my dystonia but because of people’s ignorance. I’m ok with it though, honestly, I love when people don’t get it and I talk to them about my dystonia and I see something click in their heads and they understand and now for the rest of their lives they would treat people, hopefully, equally. The only time i get upset is when they give up”

PW: “Give up trying to understand?”

Brittany: “ Yeah, I don’t care how many time i have to repeat myself but just don’t give up.”

PW: “Do you mean with mishearing you or understanding Dystonia itself? Does that happen frequently?”

Brittany: “Because of my Dystonia I have a speech problem. You wouldn’t like it either, that’s the only time I get ‘annoyed’.”

PW: “I believe you, and you don’t mind if they ask you to repeat yourself?”

Brittany: “ Not at all, I prefer that.”

PW: “What else do you wish other people knew about you and Dystonia?”

Brittany: “I’m a “normal” person who happens to have Dystonia. I don’t accept people’s pity, I don’t want people to feel bad or sorry for me. It’s funny, my brother says out of the five of my brothers and sister, I’m the most normal. I’ve never been treated like I was different growing up! I was always independent. If I couldn’t do something I had to figure out how to do it. I don’t think of dystonia as being a disability or a challenge. It’s something I have to deal with but everyone has a something that’s “wrong” with them, mine happens to be something you could see. Life is how an individual deals with their problems and I live my life the way I want to. I think if people understood that everyone is different, there is no such thing as the same finger print not even with twins, they’d understand that people that have Dystonia aren’t just people with Dystonia. There is sooooo much more to a person than a label. I am not Brittany, the one with dystonia, that’s probably the last thing I identify with.”

PW: “Do you have any advice for other people who may be treated rudely?”

Brittany: “Hold your head up high, they are only words and actions. Know you are doing the right thing. My mom would tell me when I was little, if you could look in the mirror and you know you did the right thing, that’s all that matters…she also would say if you didn’t come home with a dirty shirt, you didn’t have a good day lol I always had a mixture of ketchup and chocolate all over my clothes when I was little.”

11911403_10153524386355549_292710642_nBrittany volunteers at Hippotherapy center. Hippotheraphy is a type of physical therapy that uses the movement of horses and is something that Brittany herself grew up with. Brittany has spoken to over 400 kids in total about accepting differences. As humble as she is, she doesn’t refer to it as motivational speaking but there’s no doubt she’s an inspiration. I mentioned I sometimes get nervous with public speaking (working on it) and she said she does as well, but that she plans do it more speeches this year to spread the message.

As she says, “If I touch one person’s life that’s what matters.”

Share to keep spreading the message and like Brittany’s Message on Facebook!

All images from Brittany

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