KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas City barber faced with a debilitating disease says he won’t give up.
Darrin Lynch lost the ability to walk, but says he’ll fight until he’s back behind his barber chair.
“I just knew I had to keep going. That was it,” Lynch said.
Lynch says he loves his profession.
“I’m a barber here at Joe’s Barber Shop,” Lynch said.
However, for the past year he wondered if it was possible to come back.
“Over time I started to feel weakness in my legs, loss of balance, just different things, but I knew I had to keep going,” Lynch said.
Lynch has Arthrogryposis multiplex congenita. It’s a disease that affects joints ability to function. He’s had it since birth, and at age 48, it took away his ability to walk.
“It was disheartening,” Lynch said. “It was discouraging it was. Uncertainty. Not knowing what was going to happen next.”
“I wanna be back in this shop doing what I love to do,” Lynch said.
“He’s a good barber,” said Joe Slatton who owns Joe’s Barber Shop. “A real good barber. But see, with his handicap sometimes it takes people they have to see it first. A lot of times they’d come in and see him and be wondering – can this guy deliver?”
Joe and Darrin are friends and colleagues for life.
“That guy. That’s my best friend,” Lynch said.
“I’m going to always have a chair for him. He can come back anytime,” Slatton said. “I think it was a lot harder for him to get into this career and proceed at it, because you know a lot of people don’t think he could do the job. It’s intimidating to them.”
His deteriorating health over the years never held him back, and Lynch says, he’s not going to let it now.
“Learning to adapt has been something that I’ve always done, and I’m just not going to let anything defeat me,” Lynch said. “There’s no limit. People with disabilities need to know they can do anything they want to do. You just gotta keep trying.”
Lynch’s doctor says his disorder can be diagnosed and treated while a baby is in the mother’s womb, and that it’s important to get proper prenatal care to avoid complications down the road.