Despite being born without hands, Janet Brown, from Durham, North Carolina, didn’t let her condition to stop her from fending for her young family.
Janet was born with a rare birth defect that has resulted in her having no hands. The 31-year-old single mom-of-two manages to do everything by herself and even has a job where she has to constantly use her hands.
To provide for her young family, Janet has become an Uber and Lyft driver and works in the mornings while her sons (aged 5 and 1) are in school or in daycare.
She said her passengers hardly notice how she uses her stump to steer the wheel and change gears. Janet, who also doesn’t have most of her toes, said the only real struggle is that she can’t wear open-toed shoes.
The resilient mom told Barcroft TV:
”There is no everyday task that I can’t do – my condition doesn’t stop me from doing anything. I drive excellent, better than people with hands actually, I have never had a car accident.
I don’t really get negative feedback I always get all positive feedback. Most of my passengers say that I am an excellent driver and most of them want me to be their personal Uber driver.”
She often tells her sons that though she looks different from other mums, she can do anything they can. She stated:
”My children would have to understand that people going to ask, ‘why your mummy doesn’t have hands’, people going to stare but don’t feel bad, don’t let them hurt your feelings. I just tell to my kids that your momma may have no hands but she can do everything.”
Janet’s cousin, Antonio Gladpie, said that Janet is an inspiration to him:
“Everything I see her doing there is no reason I can’t do it because she has no hands so there is no reason I shouldn’t be able to do something. I always see her as a good mom to her kids, she is exceptional as a parent.”
Janet’s friend, Demia Scott, added:
”I feel like she can do more than I can cause she is just normal mum and what she does surprises me every day.
I know it is kind of hard but she does everything like she is supposed to do and it is like wow. I shouldn’t be complaining because I complain every day and then what she does makes me look bad.”
Janet says that her aim is to show the world that handicap and disabled people are no different than the rest of society. Janet said:
“The common misconception is that people with a disability need help. And that just not always the case. I don’t think that I am judged because I was born different but I think people think that I am helpless.”
Janet is often asked by strangers if she has experienced a tragic accident in which she lost her arms. Janet said:
“I would prefer people to ask and not just assume or not just look. If you want to know just ask.”
To make other disabled people feel less alone, Janet has started a non-profit organisation, Inspiring with Helping hands, to motivate and educate the world about disabled people.
She wants others to see that those with differences don’t need to hide themselves away for fear of what people might say, and those that are able should still go about their lives.
“My intention is to let people know that people with disabilities are not different because they are classified as different, just because you have a disability, don’t just sit and say I am not going to go out the house or I can’t do this for myself cause I only have one leg or I can’t do this for myself because my skin doesn’t look this way or my hair is not this way.
My goal is to help people, motivate and inspire them.”
Picture credit: Barcroft Images