Discrimination comes in many forms - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Discrimination comes in many forms

THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - Finding a job is difficult for any unemployed people these days. One south Georgia woman says she's having an especially tough time.

She says she often faces discrimination because of her disease. Charlotte Jankowski is one of 1.5 million Americans with Lupus.

Jankowski is just like anybody else. She enjoys painting, knitting, and spending time with her dog.

Jankowski says the one thing that has always held her back, is her Lupus. "I've had people look at me like oh my god what is this, get this away from me, get out of my restaurant. I've had people throw coffee at me. I've had people turn me away and tell me to take my kind and get them out of their restaurant."

Lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body. Jankowski has had these spots since she was nine years old. "I've been fired from several jobs because people thought I was poisoning their food, that I was contagious. That really hurts. That really hurts emotionally."

For the last month and a half, Jankowski has been trying to find a job. She says she has 20 years of restaurant experience. "Everywhere I've been they're hiring and than when I go in to get an application some of them don't want to give me an application. They tell me they don't have any on file. Or the ones that do, they throw the application away as soon as I leave the restaurant."

Jankowski says there are not many people in her life. Her last two living relatives both died in Desert Storm. "I have my pastor, I have my church, I have my landlord. That's all I have."

She says all she wants is a chance. "My hope is that some people will stop throwing me out of their restaurant, stop turning me away. Give me a chance, let me work, let me show you I can work."

Jankowski says although she feels everything she's tried has failed, she still holds on to the hope that things will get better.

More than 16,000 new cases of Lupus are reported annually across the country.

For any employment opportunities, Charlotte Jankowski can be reached at 229-236-0658.

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