A YOUNG Multiple Sclerosis sufferer has hit out after being challenged about her illness.
Rachael Hill-Hart was parked in a supermarket disabled bay using her blue badge when she was questioned over her eligibility by another blue badge holder who appeared to be a pensioner.
Rachael said she felt embarrassed and humiliated following the incident and contact the Citizen to raise awareness that having a disability does not just affect older people.
Rachael had been shopping in Sainsbury’s in March with her sister Megan Hart (16). She said they were sitting in the car after shopping when a man came out of the shop and stopped in front of the car.
Rachael said: “He looked in the windscreen at my badge, then started shouting at me, ‘Are you disabled?’ Everyone was looking at me. I felt completely humiliated.”
She said the man repeated the question several times. When she told him she had MS, he allegedly still questioned her eligibility for a disabled badge.
“I was really embarrassed,” Rachael said. “I felt like a criminal but I hadn’t done anything wrong.”
Rachael was diagnosed with MS at the age of 22 and has held a blue badge for around a year and a half.
MS, which affects around 100,000 people in the UK, is the most common disabling neurological condition affecting young adults and it interferes with messages between the brain and other parts of the body.
For Rachael, her condition means she cannot walk very far, as she gets chronic pins and needles in her legs that results in numbness. She also gets pins and needles and numbness in her hand and itching in her arm.
“I just want to say that young people can be disabled too. How can you look at me and know what my abilities are?”