While it may seem tempting to scoff at someone who parks in a spot reserved for people with disabilities when they seem to be fine, just remember that you can't always tell who needs to park in a disabled spot or not.
Nancy Coyne, a mother in Pennsylvania, was recently shocked when she returned from a mall trip with her terminally ill son and found a rude message scribbled onto her window, written in lipstick.
"U R not handicap," the message said.
"I can’t believe someone could be so obnoxious and ignorant and rude about a situation that I struggle with daily," Coyne told local news station Fox 29.
Her 7-year-old son, Garrett, suffers from a rare neurological illness called Batten disease, which causes progressive neurological impairment. Symptoms include seizures, visual impairment, dementia, and loss of motor skills. It also normally results in childhood death, and there is currently no cure or treatment.
Coyne told Fox 29 that she was taking her son to the mall to see Santa that day to make memories for her family.
"The mall is great," she said. "The Santa is wonderful. He sits down and really talks to the children."
But when she saw the message, "It just made me really question society to be honest. Like OK, I guess people don’t understand. People don’t care."
Again, let this be a reminder that you don't always know what someone is going through — illnesses don't always show themselves in the way you expect them to, and it's not anyone's place to presume that someone doesn't "need" a spot reserved for people with disabilities.
As disappointing as the incident was, the Coyne family just hopes that whoever did this has learned their lesson that it isn't okay to make such assumptions.
"I just want the person to realize what they did was wrong and to learn from it and not to [do] it again," Garrett's father, Joe Coyne, told Fox 29.
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