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UK Fibromyalgia Sufferer Receives Insulting Note In Parking Lot

Saturday 9 May 2015


From UK newspaper the Mirror:


Sarah Metcalfe
Shocked: Sarah Metcalfe was left heartbroken to find
a note on her car

Horrified mum who parked in Tesco disabled bay found this note on her car windscreen

By David Keane
11:24, 6 May 2015

Sarah Metcalfe suffers from fibromyalgia, a long-term condition that causes severe pain all over her body

A mum who battles chronic pain and used a disabled parking space in Tesco found a note on her car saying 'being fat and ugly doesn't count as disabled - park elsewhere'.

PhD student Sarah Metcalfe, 35, suffers from fibromyalgia, a long-term condition that causes severe pain all over her body.

The York mum-of-one has now branded the perpetrator a 'Katie Hopkins-wannabe', who is happy to spread hate without thinking.

Sarah had parked in a disabled bay through fear of not being able to make it round the supermarket with her 13-year-old son Jack.

Upon discovering the note, Jack was reduced to tears - and was left trying to convince his mum that she was not 'fat and ugly'.

Sarah has now called on the person who left the note to come forward so she can discuss 'invisible disabilities' with them.

Sarah said: "Both me and Jack were devastated to find the note. I think they must have seen me leaving my car with a smile on my face so assumed I wasn't disabled or in pain.

"Yet I was just happy to be out with my son - but we were both left absolutely heartbroken to find the note, it left us both in tears. Then our hurt turned to anger.

"Now that I've calmed down I would still like to speak to the cowardly person behind the note to explain how not all disabilities are visible."

Sarah suffered a serious head injury after a nasty fall five years ago and her fibromyalgia developed after this, along with chronic fatigue syndrome.

The condition means she suffers muscle stiffness, tingling all over her arms and legs and chronic pain.

However she has been so wrapped up in her studies at the University of York that she had only just got around to applying for her Blue Badge a few weeks ago and was still going through the process to prove she needs it.

Sarah said: "I don't like to claim benefits, I like to just try and get on with it, but the pain was so bad on this occasion that I was forced to used a disabled bay to limit the walk.

"There were around 40 disabled parking bays and most were free.

"I wouldn't have been able to go in if I hadn't used it - my ankles had become so weak that I was worried I'd go over on them. But I was enjoying a day out with my son so was determined to make it in.

"It was Jack who had to find the note. It floored him - he couldn't believe someone could say that but use a piece of paper to say it so there can be no comeback, it's just horrible."

Sarah believes that the incident highlights a more widespread problem in society, in which people believe being disabled means being in a wheelchair.

Sarah said: "Not every disability is visible. Just because I'm not in a wheelchair doesn't mean I'm not disabled.

"I think the person who did this should come forward. I just want to talk to them about what it's like to live with a disability like this.

"I think they should have thought about the impact that writing this could have had on the wrong person.

"I consider myself quite a strong person, but this could have gone on someone's car who couldn't handle such nasty personal abuse.

"Whoever did it, didn't think about the terrible effect it could have had on someone.

"I know it will be very hard for the person who did it to have the courage to come forward, but if you are reading this and know it was you, please do.

"It's very embarrassing for me to speak out about this, when someone has said something so personal and hurtful to you, so I hope they can get over their embarrassment too."

Sarah said that since the bays had not specified that a Blue Badge was needed, she used her own judgement given the pain she was in.


The above, with more photos and a poll, originally appeared here.


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