Student battling cancer says she was shamed for parking in handicap spot

(WHDH) – A woman who legally parked in a designated handicap space says her car was covered in shameful posts, threatening to have her fined or towed.

Lexi Baskin, a student at the University of Kentucky, says she is receiving radiation treatment for a tumor on her brainstem. She says she shared photos of her car covered in the messages in order to spread the message that not all illnesses are visible.

“Just a gentle reminder that you have no idea what is going on in other people’s lives,” Baskin wrote on Twitter. “This is my car and I am legally allowed to park in handicap spaces due to cancer treatment and exhaustion. Just because you can’t physically observe something does not mean that a person is not feeling it.”

Baskin told WLEX she had parked outside the university’s medical library in one of five handicap spots, with her car displaying disability placards.

When she returned to her car with a friend, she found multiple notes attached to it, calling her “lazy” and a “selfish, terrible person.”

“Shame on you!” one note read. “We have seen you and your friend come and go and there is nothing handicapped about either of you. Your tag must be borrowed or fake.”

Baskin said she had surgery back in July to remove the tumor on her brain stem, and says she had another week and a half of radiation treatment left.

“Just because I look fine in the two minutes I walk from my car to the building does not mean I’m not battling cancer and undergoing radiation treatment,” she continued on her Facebook post. “I am not asking for sympathy, but just awareness that everyone is fighting their own battles whether you know it or not.”

Baskin’s original tweet about the notes on her car quickly spread online, garnering over 48,000 retweets and 108,000 likes. Her story also prompted hundreds to share similar stories of public shaming for illnesses that aren’t visible.

The University of Kentucky issued a statement to WLEX in response to the incident, saying, “The University of Kentucky and Transportation Services deeply regret that a student was subjected to this as there are many reasons an individual may have an ADA accessible permit that may not be readily observable. It’s important to be clear: this unfortunate action was that of a rogue individual unaffiliated with Transportation Services or our police department.”

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