CLEVELAND, Ohio – For nearly 10 years, multiple sclerosis has taken over an Ohio woman's life.
Katie Hominsky uses a handicap sign when she run errands, but her invisible disability causes some to question her state-issued card. Now, she's taking matters into her own hands to make sure others don't experience the same issue by creating a special plaque for those who have invisible diseases.
"It's the numbness, the tingling, the heat intolerance," said Hominsky.
But every day, Hominsky fights back, although it's hard.
"It's emotional, and not being able to physically work and help provide financially for my family," said Hominsky.
She's still able to drive and when she runs errands, she parks in the handicap spot with her state-issued handicap placard, but she says that's still not good enough for some people.
"You get looks, and people can yell at you or leave nasty notes," she said.
Hominsky says a cop followed her out of a store parking lot and pulled her over when he saw her drive out of a handicap space.
"He comes back with this confused look on his face, and he's like ‘can I ask why this is registered to you?’ And I was like OK, I'm going to make you stand in the middle of the street now and listen to my entire MS story," said Hominsky. "He did apologize, and I said you know ‘it’s OK.’"
She says her friend who also has MS found a note on her car, telling her to leave handicap spots for people who need them.
Hominsky thought there had to be a way for people with invisible disabilities and diseases to not be harassed while they were using their handicap placard. That's when she had a thought, what if there was a special color just for them?
So, she designed an orange handicap signs for folks who have issues that most people can't see but are allowed to park in handicap spots.
"I needed to do something that meant something and that will help changes people's lives," said Hominsky.
She started a change.org petition a few weeks ago and already has well over 2,000 signatures.
When a person receives a state-issued handicap parking sign, Hominsky wants them to have the option to take the standard blue one or an orange for what she calls their invisible handicap.
"I want everyone across the globe to find this petition and sign it," she said.
You can find the petition here.
This story was originally published by Amanda VanAllen at WEWS.