I would love to see your wheelchair!”
That’s one line of a mean-spirited note left on the car of 36-year-old Matt Milstead — a Michigan man who parked his BMW in a handicapped spot at a Grand Rapids YMCA.
Milstead, a quadriplegic, was there to play wheelchair rugby — and did display a handicapped tag on his rear-view mirror.
His wife Leslie told WWJ Newsradio 950′s Zahra Huber she wants to set the record straight.
“He’s not just some jerk parking in this spot; he has a right to park there. He deals with a lot of stuff on a daily basis that parking in a handicap spot does not compensate for,” she said.
Leslie posted the following response to the note-writer on her Facebook page:
“To the author of the note left on my husband’s car at the David D Hunting YMCA:
I wanted to tell you a little bit about my husband since you took the time to write him in the parking lot last night.
You were so close on the age, he’s actually 36, and he is a professional with a full-time job. He is also a quadriplegic, which for him means that he can no longer move his legs or his fingers in either hand. He has no grip.
So, if you are willing to give him your functioning hands and legs for the rest of your life in exchange for his 6-year old BMW and handicapped parking pass, I’m sure he’d make that trade.
As for ‘having the world by the ass’ …you think he’s some arrogant jerk who wants to park his fancy car in a handicapped spot and strut into the YMCA in Grand Rapids, MI because he thinks he’s a bad ass? Why are you so confident that a handicapped person couldn’t be a hard worker who is successful and owns a nice vehicle?
I would say he’s a good guy dealing with some tough circumstances that he refuses to be knocked down by. Thankfully, he just shakes his head at people like you who leave notes on his car. Trust me, you aren’t the first. Ignorance is everywhere.
P.S. Look Matt Milstead up on Facebook. You’ll get to see lots of pictures of that wheelchair you had questions about.”
Leslie Milstead said there’s a lesson to be learned from this.
“I think that the message for everybody is that we have to really think before we make rash judgments,” she said. “We’ve all done it; I’ve done it, Matt’s done it — we’re not perfect.
“But it was just really upsetting to get just an unkind note for no reason.”