Some people’s reactions to a person with a disability can be disheartening. They stare, make thoughtless comments, point fingers, or whisper. Some people don’t know how to handle a person who has an obvious disease, disability, or illness. They may be uncomfortable around one who is disabled, which can make the disabled feel uncomfortable.
A report by ABC News last August shared the story of a Walmart cashier in Michigan who went out of her way to make a customer feel a little more comfortable, a little more “normal,” with a simple, selfless act: She painted her customer’s fingernails.
That may not seem like a big deal to some, but for those with a disability like cerebral palsy or Parkinson’s disease, it’s a very big deal.
Angela Peters, the customer, shared her story with Ebony Harris, the Walmart cashier. The story went something like this:
Somehow, Ebony heard of Angela being refused service at a nail salon due to her cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy, like Parkinson’s disease, can cause tremors and involuntary movement of the limbs. Ebony took action, using her break to paint Angela’s nails. The two women set off to choose the perfect color, a sparkly shade of blue, and then seated themselves at the in-store Subway sandwich shop.
Ebony was just doing something simple and kind for another human being, something that most of us can do for ourselves, and yet, sometimes we can’t. Our illness takes away our ability to do something that seems so small and insignificant to others. A friend of mine told me the other day that after having her toenails cut, her feet felt so much better and her toes didn’t hurt anymore. She isn’t able to cut her own nails because she can’t bend over far enough to do it.
I wonder, with the holidays approaching at lightning speed, if perhaps some nail pampering is the perfect gift to give a loved one. Actually, why wait? We can be like Ebony and give a gift of kindness any time, starting today. Starting now.
Note: Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.