Everyone Can Do An Act Of Kindness: Meet My Friend Drew
I'd like you to meet my best friend who is living with Huntington's Disease and show you how easy it is to do something helpful for someone else.
My Friend Drew
When I first met my friend Andrew, he was just starting to see and feel the side-effects that come with Huntington's Disease . He has a slight limp and was beginning to have trouble using one of his hands which is especially tough since Drew was a trauma doctor. He had to give up his medical license when the symptoms started to show.
When I explain it to friends, I usually tell them it's kind of like ALS (or Lou Gehrig's Disease). The disease causes a breakdown in the brain, eventually leading to loss of motor functions and cognitive issues. There's also no cure and only treatment for the symptoms to a point.
(Patrick on the left, Dr. Drew on the right after a fresh shave)
We became the best of friends, but more like long-lost brothers. Fast forward five years, and Drew's symptom's have gotten worse. He is limp has progressed to the point he has trouble walking and using both his hands is now increasingly difficult. It's become hard for Drew to talk, though I usually can make out what he's trying to say and he can still text up a storm when he's in the right frame of mind. In the picture above, I had just given drew a much needed shave since he can no longer do things like this himself. In the last week or so I was finally able to convince him to let a professional give him a proper haircut.
It all started with a trip to the salon at his apartment building. Drew had to move into a senior living apartment a few years ago to assist with his growing needs. Believe it or not this was his first haircut with them, and the first real haircut he's let anyone give him in nearly two years.
Bringing Sexy Back
Drew even got a bonus manicure from his visit. These are simple things you and I probably don't think twice about and even take for granted. For Drew, it was uplifting and empowering to restore some of his former "GQ-like" appearance. "Sexy Drew", as he sometimes refers to himself, was back in action.
This is my buddy, one of my best friends in the world. Does it break my heart to see him go through the stages of his disease? Absolutely. Will I be there for my brother when he needs me? You better believe it.
What Can You Do?
My point in sharing this story is that it doesn't take a lot to do these things. The only thing it costs is a little time and I think we can all set aside a little bit to do something for someone else. Hold open a door, let someone else take the closer parking spot (I know that's a big ask!), shovel a walkway... whatever it is, I promise it will be appreciated and who knows, maybe it'll even make you feel good too.