“This is the president I want”: Bernie Sanders volunteer reaches out to woman’s struggling disabled son and wins her heart.
“You look like you’re struggling,” a Bernie Sanders volunteer said to a mother and her disabled son at Friday’s rally in Chico, CA. “Would you like help?”
Cecilia Lore was astonished. The volunteer was right, but how could he tell? Her son’s disability is invisible to most people, but he definitely was having a hard time as they waited in a line in the blazing sun with a crowd of 5,800 people.
We keep hearing about how Bernie Sanders’ supporters are spoiled millennials, white-privileged “Bernie Bros” and misogynist trolls, but that’s not what this mother experienced at all. In a heartfelt Facebook post, Lore wrote:
I took my son to see Bernie last night. My son has a mental illness disability. It’s invisible. You would just think he is odd unless you were really trained in the subtle clues. We were in a line with thousands and my son was off to the side overwhelmed by the heat and stimulation.
Cecilia Lore also remarks, “I was shocked a stranger picked up on this,” and gratefully accepted the help he offered. The volunteer explained that Bernie Sanders has accommodations for people who are disabled and their caregivers. And then, she reports:
He escorted us back and the Secret Service got us through security and they placed us right up front by Bernie.
Amazed and touched by this act of kindness and inclusiveness towards her disabled son, Lore added:
This is the president I want. One who has even his volunteers are trained to be compassionate and alert to people with mental disabilities who are struggling. This candidate reached out to the people. His speech was amazing. We missed the end because my son was worn out but I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. Thank you Bernie and your volunteers. Please share this so people know what Bernie represents.
When Cecilia Lore first wrote about her experience with son at the Bernie Sanders rally, her friends thought this story was too good not to share and encouraged her to change the settings to “public.” She did, and now it’s going viral with nearly 9,000 shares in less than 24 hours. Here’s her Facebook post. so you can see for yourself.
When your child is disabled with an invisible disability, life is often much harder and crueler than it needs to be.
When you’re the parent of a disabled child or adult who doesn’t actually look disabled, life is often much harder than it needs to be. You have all the challenges of caring for someone with special needs, plus all those dirty looks and comments you get when you park in the handicapped spot or get to skip the line and board your flight first. According to the Invisible Disabilities Association (IDA), far more people have invisible disabilities than you would think:
26 million Americans (almost 1 in 10) were considered to have a severe disability, while only 1.8 million used a wheelchair and 5.2 million used a cane, crutches or walker […] In other words, 74% of Americans who live with a severe disability do not use such devices. Therefore, a disability cannot be determined solely on whether or not a person uses assistive equipment.
To prove their point, IDA lists a few conditions that can make a profound impact on people’s ability to function in daily life even though they may not appear to be disabled.
The term invisible disabilities refers to symptoms such as debilitating pain, fatigue, dizziness, cognitive dysfunctions, brain injuries, learning differences and mental health disorders, as well as hearing and vision impairments. These are not always obvious to the onlooker, but can sometimes or always limit daily activities, range from mild challenges to severe limitations and vary from person to person.
This mother’s beautiful story sheds light on why millions of us adore Bernie Sanders.
The fact that Bernie Sanders would encourage his volunteers to seek out, help and include disabled people at his events — even disabilities that aren’t obvious at first glance — shows an exceptional level of empathy and kindness. In a world run by ruthless capitalists that only rewards cruelty, aggression, exploitation, self-promotion, doublespeak and lies, these qualities are in woefully short supply, especially among our leaders.
This heartwarming story sheds light on why millions of Americans love Bernie Sanders and support him so passionately. It’s not about being stubborn, demanding to have their own way, having “unrealistic” expectations or wanting free handouts. It’s about demanding a new kind of leadership that governs on the principles of peace, kindness, fairness, shared prosperity, sustainability, inclusiveness, respect, tolerance, and love.
Featured photo: Public Domain 2012 via Pixabay.