'Normal Looking' Woman Publicly Shamed for Parking in Handicapped Spot
Not all disabilities are clearly visible to others. This concept of invisible disabilities is important to understand because when it is not, misguided opinions and cruel judgments can result.
If you know Lexi Baskin’s medical history, you would know just how deserving she was of special accommodations, including being able to park in a handicapped spot. She looked “normal,” though.
Regardless of appearances, strangers should not be deciding whether or not somebody deserves to park in a handicapped spot when the vehicle already has a legal handicap placard. Wheelchairs are not the only indicator of disability.
Baskin is a University of Kentucky pharmacy student. She also had a tumor in her brain stem.
Even after the tumor was removed, she has been undergoing cancer and radiation treatment. The resulting dizziness and fatigue from treatment makes walking even short distances challenging.
Baskin found her Jeep vandalized one day on campus. It was legally parked, but numerous brightly colored papers shared a stranger’s opinion on Baskin’s decision to park in a handicapped spot.
“Shame on you!” was typed and printed out on multiple papers that were then attached to the Jeep. One sign used the handicap image of a person in a wheelchair with the words: “Not Really…Just Lazy.”
That person was unknowingly calling a woman with cancer lazy. It only got worse.
Another sign called her a “selfish, terrible person.” The stranger assumed that Baskin had stolen or borrowed her handicap placard.
“There are legit handicapped people who need this parking space. We have seen you and your friend come and go and there is nothing handicapped about either of you,” read part of the message stuck onto her Jeep.
The message also made it known that they wanted to see Baskin get fined or towed. Instead, the person who vandalized would be the one facing serious consequences.
It turned out this person was a UK employee. It is unknown how the employee was identified as the person who did this.
The employee’s name has not been released. While this situation is being investigated, the employee has been suspended.
Baskin handled being shamed for parking in the handicap spot with great class. She posted a “gentle reminder” on Facebook.
“Just because you can’t physically observe something does not mean that a person is not feeling it…I am not asking for sympathy, but just awareness that everyone is fighting their own battles, whether you know it or not,” she wrote.
Before the stranger was identified in any way, Baskin chose “to love this person and pray for them.” Responding to being publicly shamed by showing grace and even praying for the person who shamed is admirable. We pray for continued healing for Baskin!
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