A disabled woman parked in a handicapped spot outside a Tullytown, Pa., Walmart on Thursday, but when she returned to her car, she noticed scratches on her hood and a note that read, “You are not disabled pig.”
Stacie Friend, 43, told NBC10 that she displayed her handicapped placard in her car before entering the store with her daughter. “I kind of felt like, violated,” Friend told the news outlet after she returned to her vehicle.
Friend, who may appear able-bodied, is battling Parkinson’s disease. She has already undergone brain surgery and will receive a second brain surgery next month.
Jeff Paolella, who initially shared the image of the offensive letter on Facebook, wrote, “To the person that left this lovely note, who are you to declare someone disabled or not? Is it because you saw her walk into Walmart and she did not have a walker or a wheelchair? Is it because she was not disfigured in anyway?”
He added: “Were you in Walmart two weeks ago when she walked in OK but shortly after lost the ability to walk in the Christmas decoration [aisle]. Her muscles in her leg cramped up so bad and her foot literally curled into a ball.”
While the post received a large number of comments, Friend was shocked to see the hatred that some commenters felt justified in sharing. “I actually had to sit at the dining room table and I cried. Some people are so mean,” she told the outlet.
However, as the post was shared over 7,000 times, people’s kind nature started to shine through. Some offered to take Friend to Walmart or to meet her there. “I just wanted to be able to thank all those people,” she said.
Plenty of people also commented about their own invisible disabilities.
“I have a placard and my disability you can’t see. People are just ignorant,” one person shared. Another wrote, “That note must have been left by a very ignorant, rude person. I myself have a handicap placard because I have stage 4 Metastatic Breast cancer which has spread to my liver and bones. I can relate because I’m fine when I first walk in the store, but after walking for a while my bones ache and my hip hurts and I get shortness of breath.”
Police in Tullytown are currently investigating the incident and are reviewing security footage because the culprit allegedly committed vandalism by scratching the hood of the car.
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