LETTERS: ‘Being Brent’ warmed hearts and brought readers to tears

Four letters from readers who say 'this story is exactly the kind of human stories we need in our newspapers.'

Brent Burgher

The Editor,

Re: “Being Brent,” the Now, May 19.

I want to thank editor Beau Simpson for his article and column about Tourette’s syndrome.

I drive for Coast Mountain Bus Company and had the pleasure of having Brent on board last week. I do not know this young man, nor have I ever had him on my bus before.

His first yelp signalled to me that he had Tourette’s. He immediately apologized  and explained that he had Tourette’s. I replied by saying, “I understand.” I had about a half dozen customers on board and was quietly pleased to notice that no one seemed to register any kind of reaction.

SEE ALSO: Being Brent – What life is like when you have Tourette’s in Surrey

SEE ALSO: Letter – Story on Brent Burgher and his Tourette’s was phenomenal

SEE ALSO: Simpson – How a guy with Tourette’s became a family friend

We, the public, likely know very little about this strange neurological condition. People with Tourette’s are human beings and have dignity and personal pride just like anyone else. It behooves us to try to understand as much as one can to help alleviate the anxiety or fear of being around individuals who struggle with it and treat such persons with respect, dignity, and understanding.

I was appalled at the reported statement of the individual who offered to put a gun to Brent’s head and pull the trigger to make him feel better.  That was cruel, mean and was a horrible attempt to look big and tough at Brent’s expense.

On occasion, while driving my bus, I’ve had customers come on and struggle with their tics.  I’ve watched purposely to see how people react to this. Usually they freeze up like icicles and their eyes dart about as if they’re looking for an escape route! That’s when I’ll pull the bus over and take a moment to explain to everyone what these strange sounds are and that there is nothing to fear or be anxious about. (It’s probably more embarrassing for the individual with Tourette’s because they often take it on themselves to explain their condition.)

In closing, I’d like to say that as Brent got off the bus at 184th Street and 64th Avenue, I thought, “there goes a fine young man who possesses an understanding about humanity that far surpasses the ordinary individual.”

It tugs at my heart to think of all the abuse and misunderstanding he has had to endure in his young life. I would welcome Brent on my bus any day, any time. Welcome aboard Brent!

Brian Batke, Surrey

 

•••

The Editor,

Re: “Being Brent,” the Now, May 19.

What a great story Beau Simpson wrote about Brent. This brought tears to my eyes. People can be so cruel. I personally don’t know anyone with Tourette’s but I am a nurse and a mother and I am very aware of this syndrome.

This story is exactly the kind of human stories we need in our newspapers. Educating and informing people is so crucial in understanding Tourette’s. If every reader would discuss this story with their children and their friends, this could go a long way in educating people and help them be more empathetic and understanding.

I live in Newton but I will keep my eye out for Brent when I am on the pier or in Cloverdale and ensure I say hello. Thank you for this story.

Wendy O’Connor, Surrey

 

•••

 

The Editor,

Re: “Being Brent,” the Now, May 19.

Thank you so much for this story and column. Many years ago I saw a fictional TV episode about Tourette’s but it is very rare to read or see anything on the subject. I always appreciate a story that encourages me to challenge my lack of education or understanding, to do something to diminish my discomfort or my fear.

Margaret Shorter, Delta

 

•••

 

The Editor,

Re: “Being Brent,” the Now, May 19.

Just a short note to let you know how much I enjoyed reading ‘Being Brent’ and Beau Simpson’s column on how he became a family friend.

I found Brent’s story moving and I relished the respite from the usual unpleasant fare.

Keep up the good work!

Paul Lochhead, Surrey

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