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Saturday, August 13, 2016

MS Shaming: ‘You Don’t Look Like You Need a Handicapped Tag!’


  


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Written by Ed Tobias (see below for Ed's information)  - August 2016


Do you remember when you applied for a handicapped license plate?
I put it off for quite a while after I was diagnosed. After all, I could walk several city blocks fairly easily. I could still play a little tennis. Why did I need to park in a handicapped spot? But, there were days when I did. I needed that privilege when it was hot. I needed it when I was extra tired, or when rain or snow made slipping a distinct possibility.
The thing is, as many of you know very well, I didn’t look like I was dragging. I didn’t look like someone with a handicap. That’s the problem that Aneta Prantera, who has MS and lives in St. Catharines, Ontario, recently faced.
Aneta is 29 years old and she was diagnosed about four years ago, after she lost the viHC permit notesion in one of her eyes. She’s an example of someone who looks healthy but who needs to use her handicapped parking permit on those tough days that we all have. That’s what she was doing, not long ago, in the parking lot of a large shopping center near her home. When Anita returned to her car after shopping, she found an angry note on its windshield. “A handicap permit is meant for handicap Only!  You are not handicap.  You should be ashamed (sick) of yourself for taking a handicap spot simply because you are Lazy.  Shame – shame.”

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Ed Tobias is a retired broadcast journalist. Most of his 40+ year career was spent as a manager with the Associated Press in Washington, DC. Tobias was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1980 but he continued to work, full-time, meeting interesting people and traveling to interesting places, until retiring at the end of 2012.


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