Michelle Dunaj is dying of leukemia. On her way to Hawaii last week for what she expects will be the last vacation of her life, TSA agents at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport humiliated the 34-year-old by forcing her to lift up her shirt and peel back her bandages for inspection.
"My issue is: It was in front of everyone, and everyone was looking at me like I was a criminal or like I was doing something wrong," Dunaj told The Associated Press on Tuesday. "It shouldn't have been in front of everyone."
A request for a private screening area was denied, according to Dunaj. "I asked them if they thought that was an appropriate location, and they told me that everything was fine," she said.
Dunaj was carrying documentation for her feeding tubes and the prescriptions for all of her medication. She was also using a wheelchair. "I did everything they asked me to do, so I didn't think it would be an issue," she told KOMO-TV.
Even with the proper documentation, a TSA agent punctured one of her saline bags during the inspection. "I didn't want to start getting upset and swearing and causing more of a scene or issue," Dunaj said.
The TSA is looking into the incident, according to regional spokesperson Lorie Dankers.
"Any time a passenger requests a private screening, they should be granted one," Dankers said.
"We work to make our screening procedures as minimally invasive as possible while still proving the level of security that the American people want and deserve," Dankers added in an email statement.
Despite her experience with the TSA, Dunaj managed to enjoy the rest of her trip. "Hawaii was one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen," she said. "Number 1 on my bucket list."
She'll enter hospice on October 17th.
[Image via KOMO-TV]