Like most siblings, Adrianna and Rueben Kleckley share a special and close bond. Adrianna is always watching out for her 33-year-old little brother.
“We became close pretty much since the day he was born,” explained Adrianna,” He was in the hospital a lot as a young child.”
Rueben has a metabolic disorder that caused brain damage as a baby. Adrianna says she takes every day with him as a blessing. When she got to the chance to take him to his Night to Shine prom in Lexington, South Carolina last Friday, it was a special moment for her.
The event, which normally attracts positive attention as it serves as a way to celebrate people 14 and over with special needs, took a turn when Rueben and Adrianna went out for a late-night snack. The pair went to a local restaurant where Rueben began interacting with a group of young girls.
“He would just turn around and smile,” she explained, “One of the girls in particular pointed him out to the rest of them. The rest of the girls with her just kind of laughed and pointed.”
Adrianna took her frustrations out on social media defending who she calls “the worlds coolest brother.” She says it’s not uncommon for people to stare or tease Rueben. That post soon went viral being shared more than 27,000 times online.
“Really, I just wanted to turn something that was negative back into a positive,” she said.
Here is Adrianna’s full post:
Tyler Rex with Thrive Upstate, a group that supports people in the area with special needs, says Adrianna’s message was moving and urged everyone not to judge a book by its cover. They host similar events like Tim Tebow’s Night to Shine.
“Look beyond the disability. Look to the person, the individual,” explained Rex, “To get to know them on the individual level.”
In the post, Adrianna included “I’m going to pray that one day your heart is touched by someone with special needs.” She ended the post with, “We all have more in common than you might think…It’s not something to be scare of, it’s just different. Different can be beautiful.”
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