There are stories in the news that are overlooked because they aren’t dramatic enough or tragic enough. But, we want to share a story that feeds our hopeful selves and helps us believe in the miracles that happen every day.
Bonnie Brown and her 15-year-old daughter Myra are living a normal life when most would say there’s nothing normal about it. Bonnie Brown is the last of 10 children and was raised in foster care from the time she was born. She is mentally handicapped and claims that her mother’s late age is the reason for her disability.
Brown was told that she would be incapable of having children, but then in 1998, came Myra. Myra attends Merion Mercy Academy near Philadelphia which is a private high school paid for by a benefactor that was found by Community Interactions. She hopes to attend England’s University of Cambridge. The two make their life work because as Myra said:
“My mom does everything that a regular mom does, so I never thought of her as different, and I don’t want other people to,” Myra told ABC News.
The opportunity they have been given is a lot different than the country would’ve offered them over 40 years ago:
“As recently as a generation ago, disabled people were prevented from having kids through state-sponsored involuntary sterilization programs. Starting in the early part of the last century until 1970, public health officials incapacitated more than 65,000 disabled people from being able to have children. Authorities believed the offspring of mentally handicapped people would have presented a burden to society, according to a report from the National Council on Disability.”
In hearing their story, we see how many miracles were prevented from occurring. There are many students with disabled parents and we would like to see them get the support they need. While they are not involuntarily sterilizing the mentally handicapped any longer, there are still ways they are being disenfranchised.
Listen to the interview of the two on National Public Radio. As you will hear, Bonnie really is no different than any other mother.