A South Carolina cancer survivor says he was reduced to tears after a business owner told him to cover his disfigured face while eating in her convenience store.
Kirby Evans lost an eye and his nose to skin cancer, and couldn't afford reconstructive surgery, said his daughter, Brandy Evans, who took to Facebook to call out the store owner and stand up for her father.
"She told him 'IF HE WAS GOING TO EAT IN HERE HE WOULD HAVE TO COVER HIS FACE!!,'" Brandy wrote on her Facebook page. "He left and went home in tears to tell me what happened."
Her post unleashed an avalanche of anger toward the owner and an outpouring of empathy for Kirby, with people posting offers of surgery and prostheses on his daughter's account.
"My father is a cancer survivor. He lost his left eye and nose to this awful cancer. My father was discriminated against because of the way he looks," she said. "He cannot help what the cancer did to him. My father is the strongest man I know but, as he told me what happened to him, I watched tears roll out of his eye. It hurt me to see him hurt like this, especially over something he cannot help."
In two days, the site has received more than $30,000.
Evans railed against the woman who runs the store in Walterboro where Kirby had bought doughnuts earlier this week and stopped inside to eat them.
The woman acknowledged asking Kirby to cover his face in a long post on Brandy's page. "I did not ask your father to quit comming [sic] in the store to eat all I asked him in my office was if he could cover his face when he came to eat," she wrote. "When you are a business owner you have to do things that are not at all pleasing but I had no choice! It was running my customers off."
The woman has since taken down her Facebook page, and the phone at her store rang unanswered Friday.
Kirby said the encounter was wounding. "It hurt deep inside," he told CBS affiliate WCSC-TV. "I've never been treated like that. Never."
An employee at the convenience story quit over what happened. "No, this right here is my resignation," said Brandy Harley. "I'm fed up with this place," the station reported.
Kirby has been bolstered by the support he's received since his daughter went public. Townspeople have sought him out, stopping to have coffee with him and to snap selfies with him outside Dairy-Land, his new haunt.
“I’m telling you what, I didn’t know there’s that many people out there that cared,” Kirby told the station. “But there are. They’re out there, everywhere.”