One thing I find rewarding is getting to know BamaCarry members up front and personal. I think it is amazing the different people we have in BamaCarry and the many different things they are involved in. Once you get to know people you realize that while we are all drawn together by a common goal yet many of us are busy doing other things besides gun rights. Some of our members are involved in helping others to have a better life. We have every one from doctors, lawyers, mechanics, airline pilots, preachers to stay at home moms. Oh my, there is a term that has become foreign, a “stay at home mom”.
I want to introduce you to a very special lady who probably works harder than most of us do.
Meet “stay at home mom” and BamaCarry member Glynda Arnold. Glynda has become an inspiration to a lot of parents and grandparents who are raising special needs children. You see Glynda is helping to raise her grandson Brady and while she is perhaps not considered a “stay at home mom” since Brady is her grandson, however she did give up a 28 year medical career to help her son Shane (a single parent) raise Brady.
Although I had never met Glynda I have known her husband Paul for some time. I think it was at the BamaCarry sponsored LEO Appreciation day in Tuscaloosa that I met Glynda and Brady for the first time. I was impressed with her and Brady from the get-go.
So what is so special about helping to raise your grandson? Well….. you see Brady is a special needs child and I’ll let Glynda explain.
“This is my Precious 8 yr old Grandson Brady. This Sweet Precious little man was born with ONH/SOD and Panypopituitarism!
To sum things up….He is Blind, Non Verbal, unable to walk without assistance, and along with these Dx’s he has several hormone deficiencies. The main one being Diabetes Insipidus which makes him unable to control his bladder! Soooo…He needs changing ALOT, and over the years we’ve HAD to come up with some very unusual places! Yes!!! We have had to use the floor with a blanket, paper towels etc!! But, our main place since there is NO Bathrooms with a sturdy enough changing table is my SUV! Our choices are either the back seat, or the trunk! This is one of my MAIN worries when we head out to go anywhere! And, to be truthful this should be my LEAST worry! He’s my Heart and Soul and deserves the fight & right to see this Change Happen!”
Glynda has joined in the fight and the struggle to try to make a difference for parents and grandparents who are raising special needs children. She has become involved with Changing Spaces – USA and has started Changing Spaces Alabama , a group leading the charge here in Alabama.
July 26th the group both nationally and here in the state the group will make a special push to raise awareness of the need to have changing stations adequate for all special needs persons. They are hoping in the future to convince the larger stores, theme parks and other places that there is a real need to have adequate facilities for special needs children and adults. Glynda summed it up like this, “Our Changing Spaces Campaigns objective is to raise awareness for an appropriate adapted accessible changing place for all individuals with special needs.”
So what is the overall mission of Changing Spaces Alabama?
To promote inclusion, access, and equality for individuals with disabilities nationwide, who cannot safely use standard handicapped toilets in public spaces. We will do this by:
1) Raising awareness of lack of accessible toilets for individuals with disabilities to the general public and businesses alike
2) Using campaigning strategies towards specific retail giants, amusement/ entertainment venues, and others
3) Providing design options for Changing Places as appropriate to the venue/ business
4) Providing a list of vendors to do cost estimates and installation for businesses across the nation
5) Partnering with disability advocacy groups at a national, state and local level
And from a personal view Glynda said she just wants to be able to, as a family, include Brady in everyday activities, knowing they will have no worries about a proper place for his changing needs.
She went on to say, “Ever since he outgrew the baby changing table, when we have been out and about trying to enjoy life, we have been forced to make a choice between changing him in the back of our vehicle, changing him on a blanket or pads on a public bathroom floor, leaving early to go home, or having to let him sit longer than we would like too without a change until we make it home, or choosing to stay home because of the struggle.”
I must say it is so easy to overlook the day to day struggle that goes with raising and caring for a special needs child. The next time you are held up in a line because of someone having to take extra time with their special needs child just remember how hard and sometimes frustrating is can be for them and the child.
Watch this short video and I think you will agree with me that no one should have to suffer this humiliation. Most of us as parents have no clue what it is like to be in public and have to go into a, many times, filthy public restroom and have to lay a special needs child down on a nasty floor to change them.
I believe there will be special rewards in heaven for people like Shane, Glynda and Paul. And for a young man like Shane to stand up and all but put his life on hold for his son is a real testimony to his parents. They instilled integrity and responsibility into him.
Someone recently said publically that BamaCarry members were the most giving people he had ever met. I agree. All three of these folks are BamaCarry members and have given up a large part of their lives to love and do all in their power to be there for Brady. I believe with Glynda leading the charge there will be changes coming in the future as she leads this group forward.
Yes, BamaCarry members are very special people and my life has been enriched just for getting to meet Brady and his family.
For more information in Alabama visit Glynda’s Facebook site Changing Spaces Alabama and let me encourage you to get involved. If nothing else let her and other parents know that you care and you will be praying for them.
The national group can be found at Changing Spaces – USA