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Lifestyle & Human Interest

Woman Battling Cancer Says McDonald's Employee Mocked Her for Wearing a Headwrap

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We’ve all had bad days — days when everything seems to go downhill from the moment we open our eyes in the morning to when we hit the pillow at night.

Some of us have developed coping mechanisms: a quiet time alone, a favorite food or drink, or talking to someone who always lifts our spirits.

For some people, the bad day is a culmination of multiple factors beyond the scope of a single 24-hour period, and finding a time to regroup is essential.

For Marissa Sowers, it was fighting cervical cancer and finding her stride as a mother that prompted a little self-care in the form of a bite to eat and an iced coffee from McDonald’s.

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Sowers should have been able to enjoy a moment of respite from the comfort and safety of her own car as she went through the drive-thru, but she said the employee working at the window ruined that opportunity by making unkind remarks about her appearance.

Instead of lashing out angrily or calling a manager, Sowers went to Facebook to post her story and encourage others to be kind.

“Dear McDonald’s worker who will probably never see this,” Sowers posted on Oct. 11. “Ur drive thru windows aren’t sound proof. Ur probably wondering y I had tears in my eyes when u handed me my iced coffee … or maybe not, judging by the words u said after handing me my oatmeal…”

“Look at this white girl, tryin to wrap her head,” the McDonald’s employee reportedly said. “Lookin all stupid.”

“As u and ur coworker laughed and passed judgement on my poor head wrap job, I hope ur day gets better,” Sowers continued. “I went to McDonald’s for an iced coffee and oatmeal to try to make my day better, but u made it worse. I hope u never get sick. I hope ur healthy and thriving for ur life. I hope ur family members r healthy and happy.”

Sowers went on to explain how her head wrap wasn’t her trying “to be anything in particular.” She had shaved her head after giving birth and going through chemo.

A lady where she gets her radiation treatments had given her the scarf as a gift. She hadn’t showered in days and she decided to use the gifted scarf.

She wrote that she was still trying to figure out “how to juggle everything,” and thanked the rude worker “for reminding me to be careful with my words … and to not judge a book by the cover.”

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Signing the post “Sincerely, That ‘stupid white girl,'” Sowers was soon surprised by the outpouring of support her story ended up receiving.

According to her post, many offered to put the worker on blast for the insensitive comments, but Sowers redirected their well-meant anger and reminded them of her main goal.

“… I really posted this as a reminder to be kind — not to get anyone in trouble or to have them inadvertently lose their job that pays their bills,” she wrote. “So, please … just be kind! Love your neighbor as yourself Mark 12:31.”

Sowers has also used her social media to encourage women to take care of themselves and get regular cancer screenings.

“Get. Your. Screens. Done!!!” she posted in August. “[I]t could save ur life.”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking