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American Airlines was forced to apologize after booting a mother and son with a completely harmless 'rash.'

Today is #rarediseaseday ! While I’d like to share something positive, Jackson and I were just discriminated...

Posted by Jordan Flake on Thursday, February 28, 2019

As if exorbitant checked bag fees weren’t bad enough… American Airlines was forced to apologize to Jordan Flake after wrongfully booting Flake and her one-year-old son from a recent flight to South Carolina.

Flake, who was heading home after visiting her military husband before his deployment, was shamed for her skin condition by American Airlines staff.


Shortly before takeoff, an employee quietly asked Flake about her “rash.” Both Flake and her son, Jackson, have a genetic (and non-contagious) skin condition which causes dry and scaly skin.

Flake and her son were forced to leave the flight over something that in no way put anyone in danger. In a bit of painful irony, this happened on Rare Disease Day.

Flake posted about her experience on the website LoveWhat Matters.

According to Flake, “the employee asked if I had a letter from a doctor stating it was OK for me to fly. I explained to him it was called Ichthyosis, a genetic skin condition I share with my son.”

“He walked up to the front to talk to the crew. He apparently also Googled it during that time. He came back and said he apologized, but we ‘wouldn’t be able to fly,’ and we ‘had to get off the plane,’” wrote Flake.

“He helped me get my bags and Jackson. He talked to the pilot as we were getting off. The pilot seemed OK with it, but the flight attendant rudely said (without even acknowledging me) ‘well she doesn’t have a letter from a doctor, so…’”

Wait, so someone with a cold would be totally fine to fly, but someone with dry skin needs a note?

Flake was rightfully upset by the incident. The flight attendant called attention to Flake’s body in a negative way. “I have never felt more aware and embarrassed about my skin, or the condition I share with my son,” wrote Flake.

“After I left and got in my hotel, I had to go to the store. I felt like everyone was staring at us because I now had this negative feeling about myself. I should never feel ashamed of myself for the way I was born. This was unacceptable and uncalled for. I have never been asked to show a letter. I have never been told by a doctor that I had to have documentation stating I wasn’t contagious, or whatever they were assuming."

"In 2019, it’s time we stop discriminating. Ask questions, and listen.”

Even though the experience was unpleasant, Flake feels as if it can lead to growth and awareness.

“If anything comes out of this, I hope it’s that whatever individual put this into action realizes they were wrong and unkind, and will think twice next time. If I am not to judge people based on their gender, skin color, or relationship status, then I should not be judged based off of the way I was born,” Flake wrote.

Nobody should be given a hard time because of a skin condition. Even if someone isn’t aware of a specific skin condition, they can still listen to the people who have it. Why shame someone when you can understand them instead? Hopefully, the next time that flight attendant encounters someone with less than perfect skin, they won’t be so quick to judge.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

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