Autism is a condition that can cause substantial communication, social and behavioral challenges. Sadly, some people still treat people with autism as if they are not able to feel, do not want friends or do regular things that most of us can do.
This relates to the story of Buzz Green, a 24-year-old man who was diagnosed with autism. Apparently, Buzz grew up with autism but this did not hinder him from doing things like other people. Since he was a child, he had always dreamed of getting a tattoo. His mother even recounted Buzz’s love for tattoos even at a young age, “as a child, he loved the fake ones and would freak out when they washed off.” Being a mother, Sandi Green wanted to help her son make his dream come true so she promised Buzz that he could get his first tattoo once he turns 23.
When Buzz finally turned 23, his parents decided to grant him his long-time wish. Though they were a little scared because of the downside of getting a tattoo for someone with autism, they remained supportive of their precious son. Buzz’s parents spoke to the doctor and luckily, he agreed to the idea of Buzz getting his first tattoo.
After getting the doctor’s okay, Buzz’s mother immediately looked for an artist that will give him the “Rugrats” tattoo that he had always wanted. However, their journey didn’t come easy. They went to a few tattoo shops but they all turned him down. Buzz is 6’2” tall and 200-lbs heavy which probably intimidated tattoo artists and others gave her an outlandish price Also, Sandi thought they were probably worried about hurting Buzz but she still found it discriminating.
Nevertheless, Buzz and his parents didn’t stop from looking for tattoo artists. Not even once did he think about giving up. For months, they continued the search until they finally found the perfect tattoo artist for him. Pat Masga, a tattoo artist from Northwest was the first person who didn’t turn Buzz down. He welcomed him with open arms and didn’t look at his size or condition.
According to him, “when Buzz arrived, he had a huge smile. From the moment I met him and that’s when I told myself that this tattoo is getting done – no matter what adjustments I have to make. Whether it took me five hours or five sessions, I was willing to do it. He sat like a champ, didn’t complain or quit and we did it!”
Finally, Buzz got his first ever tattoo which is a Rugrats character, Tommy with his underwear on, instead of a diaper. He couldn’t have been happier and grateful that someone finally treated him him the same as other regular customers.
Buzz’s courage and determination inspired a lot of people over the world. In fact, this story first circulated on Facebook in which “Northwest Inkorporated” shared Buzz’s heartwarming story. Read entire social media post below:
“This is Buzz. Buzz is 23yo and has been diagnosed with autism. His parents have been looking around since August for a tattoo shop that would do his tattoo. After more than a few shops turned them down, saying he didn’t have the mind set to decide what he wants because of autism (he’s been wanting Tommy for 5yrs), getting overpriced quotes and flat out told no they decided to check out my shop. Well guess what?! He sat like a rock, was positive all the way of what he wanted and finally got his dream tattoo! So be like Buzz and don’t let them tell you “no” or “not possible”, cause damn it, me and buzz?!, we did it!” — Pat Masga, Northwest Inkorporated
Marcus Allen Shifflett, a Facebook commenter could relate to Tommy’s story as he is also a fan of Rugrats. He said on his comment, “Tommy was my 2nd tattoo and recently been told that I have liver fibrosis and can’t get any more tattoos because of it. Now I’m not the only 23 year old with a Tommy tattoo. You did an awesome job man, Northwest Inkorporated!”
Another commenter who has autism could also relate to Buzz’s situation, “autistic, married, work in education, go out with my mates, 39 piercings and 5 tattoos. I have hobbies and interests like everyone else; I just have some struggles and see the world in a different way.” It’s sad that some people tend to discriminate people with disabilities but through Buzz’s story, he proved everyone that like people without autism, he can also dream, work on it and never give up.
If you were touched by Buzz’s story, feel free to share this article to inspire and encourage more people, with or without disabilities.