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Woman Responds to Stranger Who Asked If She Forgot Her Wheelchair

Justine Van Den Borne, 41, was diagnosed with secondary-progressive multiple sclerosis at the age of 35, and though many of her symptoms aren’t yet visible, she knows that won’t always be the case. Unfortunately, Van Den Borne can’t explain this to everyone who sees her, and she’s been targeted a number of times for using handicapped parking spots near her home in Melbourne, Australia.

People with secondary-progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS) experience symptoms such as fatigue, muscle stiffness, pain, difficulty with mobility, cognitive issues and bladder problems, according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. There’s no cure for the disease, and it’s progressive.

After shopping with her daughter at a local mall last week, Van Den Borne was upset to see someone left a nasty note on her windshield that read, “Did you forget your wheelchair???” Van Den Borne posted a photo of the note and wrote a lengthy post on Facebook in response. The post currently has over 25,000 likes on her page and has been shared nearly 5,000 times.

To person that left this on my car last week at Mitcham Shopping Centre- I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis when I…

Posted by Justine Van Den Borne on Monday, November 9, 2015

“I am sick of people like yourself abusing me on my good days for using a facility I am entitled to,” Van Den Borne wrote. “A disability doesn’t always mean a person has to be wheelchair bound but lucky for you I one day will be… Before you ruin another persons (sic) day remember you don’t know everything and just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean a person isn’t struggling to put one foot in front of the other.”

“Because of my age, [people] look at me, and automatically presume I'm doing the wrong thing,” Van Den Borne told Australian news outlet The Age. “But actually I can't carry my own shopping, can't walk long distance, I have the bladder of an 80-year-old.”

Hopefully, her viral response will ensure incidents like this happen less frequently.