By Alicia Neaves
MIDLAND - A Midland woman says she's being bullied when she gets out of her car. It's all because she has a handicap sign. She's getting nasty notes, all because she doesn't look disabled to the naked eye.
A West Texan, who is handicapped, did not want to show her face on camera. A letter she found on her car while she was at the mall was the final straw.
It says, "It is a shame you have to use the handicap voucher to get a good parking spot. That is disrespectful for the people that really need the spot."
It goes on to say, "I am ashamed of what I had to witness."
"I was just dumbfounded. I was hurt. I was labeled and I was bullied," the woman said.
"I'm not ashamed of my illness and I have M.S. I've had it for 15 years along with some other autoimmune diseases," the woman said.
With her illness, she loses balance suddenly and has trouble walking long distances.
"They are not walking in my shoes. They don't know my pain. They don't know what I go through on a daily struggle just to get out of bed," the woman said.
For those who wrote the note, she wonders why they were afraid to ask about the placard.
"Come and ask me. I will give you 10 minutes to educate you and let you know what I have. That way you're not so quick to judge the next person," the woman said.
"You don't know. She could be a person that has multiple sclerosis, that on the outside, you might not see something," Dr. Lawrence Voesack, M.D. at Medical Center Hospital, said.
Dr. Voesack says to qualify for a handicap placard, you need to have a vision or physical impairment.
"Paralysis, there's lung disease, there's cardiac disease, there's arthritis," Voesack said.
All require doctor approval. Be careful because if you're driving with a handicap placard that's not issued to you and you park in a handicap space, be ready to get slapped with a fine of $1,250 plus 50 hours of community service.