It is the story of a man who struggled with skin cancer. He survived after a long and exhausting battle against this malicious disease. But, he still has to continue his efforts to combat prejudice and negative racial stereotyping. To judge someone by his appearance comes pretty quickly to us. It’s natural. But, no one among us likes to be decided only by how he looks! It can be harmful and lead us to some awful conclusions without getting the whole story, as it did for one pit stop manager.
It is about our hero Kirby Evans who survived skin cancer, but this wasn’t enough. Some people make him feel bad about himself and get to face this cruel world alone just because he looks different. For them, he has to be banished.
Like any typical day, Kirby had stopped in at the Forks Pit Stop in Walterboro, South Carolina. He had just sat down with some doughnuts and a drink when the manager approached him, led him into the office, and asked him to cover his face.
Kirby loses his nose and one of his eyes because of his skin cancer, and he wasn’t able to afford any surgery to repair them. He also can’t wear an eye patch because it rubs his skin raw. But what makes it worse, the treatment he gets from the manager that hurts him the most.
At the time, he said that the manager “dragged” him into her office and told him he looks scary and the other customers are annoyed. However, the surveillance video showed that she didn’t touch him at all, but she did very clearly ask him to cover his face. She said that the decision to tell Kirby to cover-up wasn’t easy, but when she started receiving complaints, she felt she had to do something
Without hesitation, after the ordeal, Kirby’s daughter defending her father wrote an insightful message on Facebook about her father’s encounter.
“My father was discriminated against because of the way he looks,” she wrote. “He cannot help what cancer did to him. I know my father; he is the strongest man you will ever meet but, as he told me what happened to him, I watched tears roll out of his eye. It hurt me to see him hurt like this, especially over something he cannot help.”
Although Kirby states he’s never received an apology, the manager did tell WCIV that she wished him well and didn’t mean to hurt him. He was quite unhappy with the manager. However, she saw the situation differently, recalling a “nice conversation.” She told WCIV that “he smiled as he walked out of my office.”
However the cruelty of this situation and what makes him feel, things get better for Kirby for one, by making many strangers decide to have breakfast with him at a different restaurant, so he has a few new friends, and his daughter says he has his smile back now. For another, his daughter started a GoFundMe to pay for some of Kirby’s medical costs and possibly a prosthetic nose.
Despite all the obstacles he faces, we hope Kirby gets the help he needed for so long and be a happy person again. The moral behind this story is never to lose hope!