TSA Picks the Worst Time to Hassle Breast Cancer Patient

Virgin AtlanticA case of bad timing for the TSA is right on schedule for the agency's haters. Just as breast cancer awareness month is kicking Americans into a pink ribboned frenzy, TSA agents at New York's JFK Airport stand accused of torturing Lori Dorn, a woman in the midst of a battle with breast cancer. You know what that means, folks?

The TSA just met one of the most powerful causes in America. The power of pink is everywhere this month, from the NFL to your grocery store's dairy case. And now it's being beamed right at the TSA.


And rightfully so. This is not a case of one of the myriad TSA protesters who are there simply to start trouble. Dorn was prepared. She knew what she had to do to get through an airport.

Headed to San Francisco on Virgin Atlantic, she did everything right. She went through the imaging scanners as requested. And she brought with her a card from her doctor that explained that because of a bilateral mastectomy to treat her breast cancer, she had tissue expanders in her body. The expanders are there to help smooth the way for a reconstruction down the line, but they also set off scanners.

And according to a blog post Dorn put up on Friday night, doing everything right didn't protect her from some agents hopped up on their power. When her expanders set off the scanners, and she asked to present the card from her doctor, they refused.

Instead, she called over a female supervisor who told me the exam had to take place. I was again told that I could not retrieve the card and needed to submit to a physical exam in order to be cleared. She then said, “And if we don’t clear you, you don’t fly” loud enough for other passengers to hear. And they did. And they stared at the bald woman being yelled at by a TSA Supervisor.

Dorn suffered the indignity of having her breasts felt up by the agents. She went through additional emotional trauma to top off that of having to deal with a disease that kills nearly 40,000 American women every year. She was harassed because some people hopped up on power ignored the system ... because they could.

But here's the beautiful thing. Dorn blogged about the incident on Friday night, September 30. And she closed out her post with the statement, "I can only comfort myself with the fact that Karma is always circular."

The next morning, breast cancer awareness month began, and her story hit a nerve. It's spread like wildfire, and the TSA is looking into the matter. Karma indeed!

Does this incident make you angry?


Image via Simon_sees/Flickr

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