Friends, family rally after woman with special needs told to stay away from Atwater store

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ATWATER Twp., Ohio - Friends and supporters of Brenda Medley are rallying around the woman who, they say, has overcome her life-long special needs challenges because of a daily routine in which she visits the same place and interacts with the same people day-in and day-out.

For the past ten years, Medley has walked more than two miles from her home to a nearby Circle-K store, collecting cans and interacting with her friends there.

Her family says the store is where she has spent all of her time and all of her money.

"Everybody loves Brenda. Everybody is used to seeing her up at Circle K. If she's not there I'm sure they wonder where she's at because everybody watches out for her," said her niece Judy Eckmeyer.

"She'll eat up there because she gets hungry. She'll buy pizza, she'll buy pop. She buys candy. I'm 51 and she still brings me home candy, you know, and my children," added Eckmeyer.

Eckmeyer says the family recently got a call that Medley  was in tears, explaining that she had been asked to leave the Circle K and not to come back.

Eckmeyer says Medley's routine of the past ten years is now viewed by the company as loitering. They also complained that she was going through trash cans.

"She doesn't even know what loitering means," said Eckmeyer.

Nichole Dunmire only knows Medley from seeing her at Circle K.

She has now started a Facebook Page asking for support so that Medley can resume her familiar routine.

"She doesn't bother anybody. She doesn't talk to anybody. She doesn't go panhandling, asking people for anything. She is a very loveable person. She's very friendly. She gives me big hugs all the time," said Dunmire.

Her Facebook page had more than 300 supporters in its first day.

A spokesperson for the Atwater Circle K tells FOX 8 she is aware there is a "situation" and that it is being investigated, but she has no comment at this time.

Supporters, meanwhile, are planning a demonstration this weekend and now expect far more people to attend than they ever  imagined.​

Click here to see the Facebook page.