For years, Brittany Quiroz could sense that something wasn’t quite right with her body. Among the various symptoms she was experiencing, she was losing the ability to control her left leg, which led to daily tripping and falling. She didn’t think much of it until learning from a neurologist in September 2019 that she had Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. Receiving that diagnosis made her feel angry, confused, scared and saddened.
Her neurologist suggested she use a walking cane to assist with her mobility. And while the cane helped her to keep her balance, it left her with only one free hand—and that was a problem for this active mom with a lot to juggle. It wasn’t until another neurologist noticed the progression of her foot drop and referred her to an orthotist that she found a hands-free solution.
Upon seeing Brittany walk, the orthotist recommended an Allard BlueROCKER® AFO and brought one out for her to try. “Immediately I felt confident to walk again. I was not tripping. I did not drag my leg behind like a dead slab of meat. I was sturdy and moving faster than I usually do. And I was hands free, which was such a blessing! I was honestly shocked at how amazingly it worked. I did not think it would make a difference on this level, yet there I was strutting down the hallway like I was on a catwalk. I was confident, proud, and mobile. You never think in a billion years that one day you will have to worry about how you walk; worry about falling and tripping; worry about what you look like dragging one of your limbs behind you. My Allard BlueROCKER has changed my quality of life.”
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In the spirit of MS Awareness Month I can say I am blessed to be a part of this family of warriors. I am surrounded by strong impervious human beings who strive daily to tell MS where to stick it. * ***THIS IS MY PLEDGE! ***I will continue to speak up as a disability advocate! I will never stop fighting against this disease. I will continue to share my story without filters or limitations. I am determined to break the mold and penetrate the stigma of what disability looks like. I will continue to empower others to believe that it is possible to be happy once you begin to look at your life through a different lens. I will NOT STOP and I will KEEP MOVING! When God gives you lemons, make a lemonade factory! * What is the point of having a whole month dedicated to the awareness of our illness if we don’t speak up? Speak up! Start talking! Share your trials! Share your victories! Share your journey! • • #dontdistheabled #makemswork #thisisms #ahotms #ms #mssupport #msstrong #mssociety #mscommunity #mshope #msawareness #multiplesclerosis #babeswithmobilityaids #chronicillness #chronicpainwarrior #disabilityadvocate #sicknotugly #butyoudontlooksick #sicknotugly #msawarenessmonth #speakupspeakout #nofilter
Leaving her appointment that day, she also knew she had to do something to make her new AFO fit her personality and style. She knew that the AFO had to be decorated with glitter, both to match her personality but also because “leg glitter” is the way she describes one of the symptoms she feels in her leg due to MS. So she began to seek out places that would help her customize it. It wasn’t before long that an autobody shop agreed to help her at no cost.
Through this process Brittany has found ways to inspire others and connect with people all over through her social media and blog. She is also teaming up with MS organizations, becoming a motivational speaker and performing as a a singer-songwriter, using her music to spread inspiration about her experience.
But that’s not all!
She wants others to feel confident and express their own style the way that she has been able to. To that end, she is starting a non-profit organization that will connect people that want to show their personality through their mobility aids to businesses that will provide that service.
You can learn more about Brittany on her blog and social media channels: