A breast cancer survivor is calling out airport security for what she is calling a "humiliating pat down."
What Marcia Deitrick described happening at Kansas City International Airport wasn't straight up groping or outright harassment, but a form of humiliation.
Deitrick said it added insult to the injury endured by those who have had life-saving surgeries.
The cancer survivor had bilateral mastectomies in 2007, and though she is no longer shy about her experience, she is protective of her body.
"I do not want somebody touching me," Deitrick said.
Deitrick said she has always opted for the body scanner to avoid a pat down, but this time, that machine was not enough.
Deitrick said the TSA agent asked if she was wearing something on her chest. She soon realized it was her scars the TSA screener took issue with.
The employee radioed in "an anomaly," something outside the norm, and told Deitrick she need to check her manually.
"Then she ran the backs of her hands around my breasts in full view of everybody," Deitrick said. "She was nice, she was polite. But she didn't ask me if I wanted a private screening."
TSA rules specify "you may request the pat down take place in a private screening area," but it puts the onus on the traveler to ask.
"I actually stood there thinking these people probably think I'm doing something wrong, that either there's something wrong with my body or I've done something wrong," Deitrick said.
It is a message Deitrick said could be devastating to women who have not yet come to terms with all they have endured. And a search of survivor support groups revealed other survivors with similar experiences.
"I don't think that the TSA agents across the country are being uniformly and properly trained to be able to know what to look at and what to look for and what to expect when a breast cancer survivor comes through a body scanner," she said.
As a breast cancer survivor, Deitrick's profile may not fit the majority, but as one of 2.9 million in the United States, she is also far from rare.
"I'm not an anomaly. I'm the reality of breast cancer just like those other 2.9 million women are, and I think that we deserve better when we go through airport screening. We deserve to have TSA screeners who know what they're looking at," she said.
TSA release the following statement:
"TSA security officers are trained to work with each traveler to ensure a respectful screening process. Despite advances in technology, a physical pat down is still necessary in some cases to resolve an alarm at the walk through metal detector or an anomaly detected by advanced imaging technology. TSA officers are trained to perform pat downs in a dignified manner and, at any point, passengers can request a private screening with a witness present. We are sensitive to passengers concerns about their screening experience and take every passenger's complaint seriously. When TSA learns of a pat down complaint, we will look into it to determine if proper procedures were followed and will take appropriate action, if warranted. We work to make our screening procedures as minimally invasive as possible while still providing the level of security that the American people want and deserve."
Deitrick said the TSA representatives have been apologetic and professional about her complaint.
However, whether training will change is something they have not yet addressed.
Friday, May 17 2013 7:16 PM EDT2013-05-17 23:16:53 GMT
One person has died in a crash near Harrisonville, MO, Thursday evening. The crash happened on Missouri Highway 7 and Walker Road. It involved a car and a tractor-trailer. Harrisonville is in Cass County.More >
Savannah Nash celebrated her 16th birthday last week. She died Thursday when her car slammed into a semi while she was texting during her first time driving by herself.More >
Friday, May 17 2013 5:59 PM EDT2013-05-17 21:59:40 GMT
The National Weather Service says there is a slight risk for severe weather on Sunday, and isolated tornadoes and supercell storms are possible.The threat for severe weather will continue into Monday.StormsMore >
The National Weather Service says there is a slight risk for severe weather on Sunday, and isolated tornadoes and supercell storms are possible.More >
Friday, May 17 2013 6:47 PM EDT2013-05-17 22:47:09 GMT
Imagine suffering a medical emergency in a foreign country, half a world away. It happened to a man from Overland Park, KS, in Japan. Now, his family is trying to come up with a way to get him home whereMore >
An Overland Park family is trying to raise enough money to get their son back to the U.S. from Japan after he suffered a massive stroke in the other country.More >
Wednesday, May 15 2013 2:57 PM EDT2013-05-15 18:57:11 GMT
The old saying goes, "If you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen." Perhaps, this applies to Kitchen Nightmares, as well. An Arizona bakery was featured on Friday's episode of the Gordon RamseyMore >
The old saying goes, "If you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen." Perhaps, this applies to Kitchen Nightmares, as well.More >
Friday, May 17 2013 4:52 PM EDT2013-05-17 20:52:00 GMT
An 11-year-old girl is recovering after a distracted driver hit her and then fled.She is recovering at Children's Mercy Hospital with a broken arm, ruptured ear drum and fractured pelvis. Her family isMore >
An 11-year-old girl is recovering after a distracted driver hit her and then fled.More >
Friday, May 17 2013 7:20 PM EDT2013-05-17 23:20:10 GMT
The Rachael Ray show flew to New York a puppy that survived a month inside a locked car at Kansas City's tow lot.Ray and guest co-host Regis Philbin fawned over Kia, who was accompanied by Tori Fugate,More >
Television hosts Rachael Ray and Regis Philbin fawned this week over a puppy rescued earlier this month after living nearly a month inside a locked vehicle at Kansas City's municipal impound lot.More >
Friday, May 17 2013 10:50 PM EDT2013-05-18 02:50:11 GMT
A Kansas City woman behind a new youth literacy program celebrated a milestone Friday night and none too soon. Jean Rundle is suffering from a heart condition and in quickly declining health. She neverMore >
A Kansas City woman behind a new youth literacy program celebrated a milestone Friday night and none too soon.More >
Friday, May 17 2013 2:21 PM EDT2013-05-17 18:21:35 GMT
A woman is in custody after she allegedly struck her father in the head with a pistol, Overland Park police said Friday.The woman, who is in her middle 20s, was taken into custody about 11 a.m. This wasMore >
A woman is in custody after she allegedly struck her father in the head with a pistol, Overland Park police said Friday.More >
Friday, May 17 2013 6:00 PM EDT2013-05-17 22:00:49 GMT
A local cab driver is speaking up after a customer pulled a gun on him. A few hours later the same suspect was the target of a standoff with police. "I'm happy to get out of there with my life. Glad toMore >
A local cab driver is speaking up after a customer pulled a gun on him. A few hours later the same suspect was the target of a standoff with police.More >
Saturday, May 18 2013 12:47 AM EDT2013-05-18 04:47:49 GMT
For the first time, the University of Kansas awarded two Wounded Warrior Scholarships. The money, of $10,000/year for up to four years, goes to students who are injured veterans or caretakers of injuredMore >
A young marine from Kansas City, KS, was one of two recipients of the University of Kansas' new Wounded Warrior Scholarship.More >