DCC: Bridget’s Multi-Color Stars on Her Boots Represent Her Brother and Others Like Him
Bridget and her DCC teammates will be wearing new custom-made Lucchese boots during Sunday’s Eagles-Cowboys game as part of the My Cause/My Boots campaign to display their support of charitable causes that have specifically affected their lives.
Bridget’s multicolor stars on her new boots resemble puzzle pieces in bright, primary colors. The goal is to raise awareness of autism and the puzzle pieces are symbolic because they represent the puzzling nature of the autism spectrum. The boots were hand-crafted by Lucchese’s talented artisans in El Paso who share Bridget’s passion to help people and families affected by autism.
Bridget chose autism as her cause because of her younger brother, Kenny.
“Kenny has played a big role in my life as far as inspiring me to treat everyone with the same amount of respect even if they’re a little bit different,” explains Bridget. “Growing up, he didn’t pick up on certain social cues as a result of having autism, more specifically Asperger’s syndrome, and the inability to pick up on those cues backlashed on him. He struggled with it and didn’t understand why people didn’t treat him the same way.
“As part of a huge family, he was surrounded by love from all of us, but going out in the world we saw that people don’t know about autism. It’s not an obvious kind of situation. They don’t understand. They think he’s socially awkward and they treat him differently.
“Kenny was five years old when he was diagnosed. He pretty much learned how to talk by listening to the same movie over and over again. So, he can recite Finding Nemo and A Bug’s Life and all those Pixar movies.
“He’s 18 now and he’s doing amazing. He’s an incredibly smart kid. He’s gone into theatre in the past year. He loves theatrics, loves to be an entertainer. That’s really cool because it’s not something that is very typical for someone with Asperger’s. He also loves anything related to space, as in outer space, and can tell you anything you want to know about a waning crescent or a waxing crescent. Those are two of his gifts: theatre and space.”
Bridget is excited to use Sunday’s game and her platform with the DCC to inspire people the same way Kenny has inspired her. The Autism Society says the bright colors in their symbol represent hope. Bridget’s hope is that we all learn more about Autism so that we treat everyone equally.
“I just want to bring awareness to the fact that just because someone isn’t the most outgoing, or just because someone doesn’t quite understand if you’re being sarcastic, or just because someone likes their food cooked a certain way, there are reasons for these differences,” she notes. “There are reasons there are occasional meltdowns or maybe a person with autism gets upset and seems to overreact when he or she gets overstimulated. It’s not something to be judged. It’s something to be treated with understanding.
“Autism is something that people need to be more aware of, and hopefully they will see the need to be accepting and understanding so that we can help lift each other up.”