Valley Life for All: Meet Camy Britt | PostIndependent.com

Valley Life for All: Meet Camy Britt

Editor's note: The Post Independent, in conjunction with Valley Life For All, continues a monthly series of profiles about people in our community who have different abilities. Twenty-seven percent of Americans experience some disability. One hundred percent are a part of our community. Each has a story.

Camy Britt is able to conquer most fears. She likes to ride her bike and hike. She is the vice-chair of the Valley Life for All Board of Directors. Her voice will change you.

Camy was born with a chromosomal syndrome that results in developmental and emotional delays in some areas. The biggest challenge for Camy is the huge peaks and valleys in what she can do. We can all relate to the challenge of facing our own fears that she talks about in her story. Camy gives us a good pep talk about how to overcome our own challenges.

Here's Camy's story, in her own words:

I got invited to a Halloween party when I was 7. I wasn't sure I wanted to go because I had this feeling someone was saying, "No, it's unacceptable." But really, my friend was the one who invited me. I knew it wasn't just someone saying, "OK, this is the party, you have to go to." I was able to say, "I'm not going to be shy. I'm not going to be fearful. It's all going to be OK."

My friend taught me a couple of tricks. The first trick was to tell myself this is something you don't need to be fearful of because she is the one inviting you, not yourself. The other trick was not to be as shy because it is the same as fearful. To just be comfortable in that type of situation is something that some people need to conquer.

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The party was actually a great time because all my friends were there. They were able to see that I wasn't shy. I wasn't fearful of being there. I really thank this person for inviting me because she taught me to face my fears and to be able to socialize. She taught me to become a really good person and also to be a really good friend to other people. It also taught me not to be so fearful of my own fears and be able to conquer them and say, "I can do this!" without being so fearful. She and I are still friends today.

Recently, I was at the pool, and I looked at the slide and said, "Are my feelings going to be fearful going down the slide?" But no, I was actually able to conquer that fear and say, "It's not going to be scary. It's going to be very easy. You're not going to drown or anything."

I want to pass along to people to say to yourself, "I can get over this and not be so fearful." Realize if there is someone out there who is shy and be able to say, "It's OK, you can overcome your fear."

Local nonprofit Valley Life for All is working to build inclusive communities where people of all abilities belong and contribute. We want to hear your voice. Request a training or join the conversation at http://www.valleylifeforall.org or #voicability4all. Help us redefine the perception of challenge.