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Tweet Goes Viral After UK Student Shamed For Handicapped Placard - LEX18.com | Continuous News and StormTracker Weather

Tweet Goes Viral After UK Student Shamed For Handicapped Placard

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LEXINGTON, KY (Lex 18) - An unfortunate experience for a University of Kentucky student and her frustrated tweet have hundreds of thousands of people reacting all around the world. 

For UK Pharmacy School student Lexi Baskin, the daily commute to class always ends in one of five handicapped spots outside the university's medical library. Until this past Thursday, she parked there without problem, thanks to her doctor-ordered state and campus disability parking placards. 

"I met with a professor and I came back out with a friend, and my car was covered in signs," Baskin said. 

The signs were printed out on colored paper and taped all around her SUV. One piece of paper had a note saying "there's nothing handicapped about you," and "your tag must be borrowed or fake."

"Most of them said said 'shame on you,'" Baskin said. "There were a bunch of white ones saying 'not really handicapped, just lazy.'"

After crumpling up the signs, Baskin fired off a frustrated tweet to her several hundred followers:

Baskin said this summer doctors discovered a tumor in her brain stem. The tumor has since been removed, and over the past four weeks she's been undergoing radiation treatment at Lexington's Markey Cancer Center. 

"The whole school has a lunch break from 12 to 1, so instead of taking my lunch, I go over the to there, get treatment, and come back and then go back to class," Baskin said. 

Baskin explained how radiation makes her extremely fatigued and sometimes dizzy. She said her doctor gave her the parking placard to help the daily commute and keep her from walking long distances.

Following Baskin's tweet about her situation, she learned her message of empathy and understanding traveled all around the world. Within a few days, more than 50,000 people retweeted her tweet and more than 100,000 liked it. 

That's not what surprised Baskin the most though. 

"I didn't expect the amount of people that have also gone through the same thing," Baskin said. "It kind of breaks my heart for them to know that there are people sicker than I am who are also getting ridiculed."

University of Kentucky administrators also saw Baskin's tweet and released this statement to Lex 18 News

“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. UK is a community of belonging for everyone, regardless of identity or perspective, and part of that means ensuring everyone is treated with respect and dignity. This situation has been referred to UK Police for follow up. Moreover, our Disability Resource Center has reached out to the student to determine how we can help. We work with hundreds and hundreds of students throughout the school year on these issues to help ensure that everyone on our campus feels a sense of belonging to this community.” - Jay Blanton, University of Kentucky Public Relations & Marketing. 

Baskin said she's no longer mad at whoever taped the signs all over her car. She said she's praying they will hear her message and be more open-minded in the future. 

"Just because you can't physically acknowledge something going on within someone does not mean that it's not happening," Baskin said. 

UK Police Chief Joe Monroe said there are no current criminal charges related to this situation.

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