A purple parade at Merriwa Industries
Glenn Mercer has already been recognised by the Moebius Syndrome Society (MSS) in the USA, but his work won’t stop there.
He urged the community to drape the town in purple for International Moebius Syndrome Awareness Day on Thursday, January 24.
The 42-year-old took charge to raise awareness for the rare neurological syndrome in the local community and was named a ‘holiday hero’ by the MSS late last year for all the work he has done.
“I communicate with people all over the world about how I’m raising awareness for Moebius Syndrome and what is happening in Wangaratta,” Mr Mercer told the Wangaratta Chronicle.
“The theme of the day is to wear something purple, whether it’s a sock, a bracelet, scarf or a hat.”
Mr Mercer is employed by Merriwa Industries as a process worker and is touched by the support his workplace has shown for the cause in an effort to raise awareness and acceptance.
“Merriwa Industries will have everyone wearing purple for the day on the 24th,” disability support officer Eril Edwards said.
Ms Edwards said the employees at Merriwa Industries will also be treated to purple cupcakes from Hahne’s Kitchen for morning tea.
“Glenn (Mercer) has now been with us for two years and has become a valued worker, making many new friends here at Merriwa Industries … he works well and is reliable and always does his best work,” Ms Edwards said.
Selflessly, Mr Mercer said he wants the day to be about Merriwa Industries giving other people like himself an opportunity and raising awareness and acceptance for all.
“Merriwa Industries has opened my eyes. I’ve never worked with someone else with a disability and it made me think that maybe my life isn’t so bad.”
“They made me feel comfortable with myself. I enjoy it here and it makes me happy… My favourite saying is it’s only a disability if you let it be, or if somebody else makes it one.”
Mr Mercer has been in close communication with another local family touched by Moebius Syndrome, who hosted an event at Hahne’s Kitchen to raise awareness, acceptance and donations to research on January 24.
Those in the community who would like to learn more about Moebius Syndrome Awareness Day can visit Hahne’s Kitchen and ask for their trademark purple lemonade tea and pick up a pamphlet with more information on Moebius Syndrome and how people can show their support.
Article by MITCHELL GASTIN
This article appeared in the Wangaratta Chronicle 18 January 2019