2016 Courage to Shine™ Lisha Martinez & Adam Young Award
Brittney Freeman was presented with the 2016 Courage to Shine™ Lisha Marttinez & Adam Young Award on Saturday July 9 2016.
Brittney Nichole Freeman is a 27-year-old born with classic exstrophy. Born Brittney Nichole Godfrey on August 2nd,1988, Brittney had her primary major reconstruction surgery at the Children’s Hospital of the University of Oklahoma in 2000, as a patient Dr. Bradley Kropp. He is, in her eyes, a miracle worker. She loves to proudly show off his handiwork in the form of her awesome belly button; that is also her cathing stoma. She loves that she is able to catheterize, even if it can at times be very painful. As a child she was constantly wet and wore pull ups until she met Dr. Kropp and his nurse Lori in 1999.
Brittney had a wonderful childhood being raised in her hometown of Sand Springs, Oklahoma. As a child Brittney loved to dance, cheerleader, and write contracts for her parents to sign. In elementary school she attended a theater camp and it was there that she fell in love with being on the stage. Even though bladder exstrophy made it hard to fit in with her classmates at times, she still was able to make a great group of friends that she remains friends with today. In the summer of 2003 Brittney got eye glasses; and this changed the course of her life forever. For the first time she was able to read without getting a headache! During that summer Brittney fondly remembers how reading The Notebook, by Nicholas Sparks, kindled an intense love for reading. This love of reading inspired her to pursue a profession as an English teacher. And her love of Theater never left her. Brittney is also a certified Speech, Debate, and Drama teacher.
Brittney considers her greatest accomplishment so far is earning her bachelor’s degree in English education from Northeastern State University. She credits her family and their unyielding support for her as the main reason she was able to graduate university. Her mother, Julie; and her Father, Troy; supported her through college, high school, and childhood. On April 19, 2008 Brittney married Donnie Freeman. Her husband and step-son, Tray love her unconditionally. Brittney feels fortunate to have a close and supportive family; her brother, Anthony and his wife, Dreama, her adopted sister, Cristy and her loving grandparents, Anna and Lorenza Godfrey. She is a self-described “momma’s girl” and can be found every weekend visiting her mom, dad, and grandparents at their home in Sand Springs.
Brittney loves to teach; it is truly
Mher calling. She teaches 8th grade English at Catoosa Public Schools in Oklahoma. She also sponsors the Drama club, and Student Council.
Brittney was at times in her life was bullied for being different. So, she tells her students about her birth defect and she also has them read articles written for the “Courage to Shine” blog page. She loves to use her bladder exstrophy and the adversity that she has faced within her lifetime to inspire her students to know, “that no matter what you are facing, you too, have the courage to shine.”
To email Brittney Freeman: Brittney@courage-to-shine.org