A University of Kentucky student claims her jeep was covered in shameful posts after she parked in a designated handicapped space, and now wants others to realize that not all illnesses are visible. Lexi Baskin, who is receiving radiation as part of treatment for a tumor that was discovered on her brainstem, shared photos of her car on Twitter and Facebook, where they quickly went viral.
“Just a gentle reminder that you have no idea what is going on in other people’s lives,” Baskin wrote on the “Love What Matters” Facebook page. “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 LEX18.com that she had parked outside the university’s medical library in one of the five handicapped spots, and that she has valid state and campus disability parking placards. She said she met with a professor inside the building, and came out with a friend to discover the notes left on her car. One featured a handicapped symbol calling her “lazy,” and claimed to have seen her and her friend exit the building several times and said “there is nothing handicapped about either of you. Your tag must be borrowed or fake.”
The note vowed to have Baskin fined or towed for “being such a selfish, terrible person.”
“I had a grade 2 ependymoma on my brain stem. It was removed July 28th and I started radiation 5 weeks ago today,” Baskin continued in her Nov. 6 Facebook post. “I have about a week and a half left of treatment and my last scan came back good. Just because I look find in the two minutes I walk from my car to the building does not mean I’m not battling cancer and undergoing radiation treatment. I am not asking for sympathy, but just awareness that everyone is fighting their own battles whether you know it or not.”
Baskin finished her post by asking others to be kind, and to make people cry tears of joy, “not frustration or sadness.” She said she would pray for the person who covered her car in notes, and hopes “that the darkness in their heart is replaced with unconditional love and happiness.”
Baskin’s initial tweet, which was shared on Oct. 26, had more than 48,000 retweets and 108,000 favorites. The university has issued a response and said the incident was referred to campus police for follow up.
“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,” Jay Blanton, of University of Kentucky Public Relations and Marketing, said, in part, according to Lex18.com. “It’s important to be clear: this unfortunate action was that of a rogue individual unaffiliated with Transportation Services or our police department.”