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Posted: March 30, 2015

Breast cancer survivor speaks out after she says Walmart employees made fun of her appearance

Cox Media Group National Content Desk

WEST MONROE, La. —

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A cancer survivor turned to Facebook after she says she was ridiculed at a Louisiana Walmart.

In a post to Facebook, which has since gone viral, Johnna Utzman said that a trip to a local super store with her family quickly turned into a painful experience.

"While standing in line to use the restroom, two Walmart employees burst into the bathroom exclaiming, 'Sir, you cannot be in here! Uh sir, you cannot be in here!'" Utzman posted to Facebook.

Utzman is a recent cancer survivor. She had several rounds of chemotherapy and a bi-lateral mastectomy last year after a stage 2 cancer diagnosis. Because of her treatments, she has lost her hair. Though she often wears a wig, on this particular day she wore a baseball cap instead.

Seemingly, the employees had mistook her for a man. But, once they saw she was a female, the humiliation didn't stop.

 "They ran out of the bathroom laughing," she said in her post. "I thought it was over. Didn't think anything about it. I just tried to pass it off.  Not two minutes later as I was in the stall, the same employees came back into the restroom and were laughing and giggling exclaiming at the top of their lungs, ‘That was a WOMAN!!!!! She looked like a man!!!!!’"

She said the employees were so loud that other customers noticed and sympathized with her. Utzman said she went to the customer service desk, where they seemed sympathetic but never formally apologized or allowed her to meet with a manager.

"Never have I been so humiliated," she wrote.  "I have gone through so much with God's help, I and my family have made it through. I want these employees reprimanded. Not to cause them ill will but to let them know that this was not alright. To let them know that someone going through cancer is nothing to laugh at."

Utzman also contacted Walmart's corporate offices, and the retail giant has since apologized and said they have suspended the employees involved pending an investigation.

She continues to emphasize that her public outcry is not about revenge.

"My goal in getting this story out, is that just maybe we can get something to change," Utzman wrote in recent post. "I am hoping that some type of sensitivity training will be implemented company wide. This could have happened to anyone! Whether it be someone with cancer, someone with a visible or invisible disability. We need to use this to try and change how people are treated period." 

Read Utzman's original post:

My name is Johnna Utzman...this happened to me today...what would you have done? Normally I don't try to post negative...

Posted by Johnna Moore Utzman on Friday, March 27, 2015

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