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A cancer survivor is fighting the Delaware DMV to help keep her FCANCER license plate


Kari Overington and her fiance ran the Boston Marathon in 2021 during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, both dyeing their hair pink to operate a vehicle home the idea.

By Jonathan Edwards, Washington Post

Kari Overington was beating cancer and wished to rub it in.

In late 2020, Overington bought a fresh SUV and made a decision to celebrate being cancer-free by splurging on a vanity plate. She reserved one on the Delaware Division of AUTOMOBILES website and transpired to a DMV office to cover the fee.

In February 2021, her new license plate arrived. She slapped it on her behalf Toyota RAV4 and stood back again to appreciate her war cry.


Overington, 41, drove around with out a problem for four months until a letter from the DMV came in the mail. She opened it: Officials were recalling her license plate. Because the F stood for a curse word, the plate was offensive in nature and will not represent hawaii and the Division in a confident manner.

Now, Overington is suing the top of the Delaware DMV, Jana Simpler, and two other government officials. In her suit, Overington said they violated her First Amendment to free speech and asked a federal judge to order them to reinstate her vanity plate. U.S. District Court Judge Richard Andrews this week denied state officials motion to dismiss the suit, saying in his order that Overington raises a substantial constitutional issue.

Within an email to The Washington Post, a Delaware Department of Transportation spokesman said that, while DMV officials commiserate with the theory underlying Overingtons license plate, it nevertheless includes obscenity, vulgarity, profanity, hate speech, or fighting words, unlike state policy.

Unfortunately, the plaintiffs license plate violates this policy, despite the fact that we appreciate and sympathize with the sentiments behind it, he added.

In nov 2018, Overington was identified as having an aggressive type of breast cancer, she said on her website focused on fighting the DMV. She got a double mastectomy in November of this year and started chemotherapy on New Years Eve. When her hair started falling out in clumps in January 2019, she preempted her enemy by shaving the others of it off. Her fiance did exactly the same in solidarity.

Overingtons treatments were interrupted in March 2019 when, after catching the flu, she collapsed, busting her scalp open, she wrote. She resumed chemo by the finish of the month, finished in early June and started breast reconstruction within weeks, an activity that could last a lot more than 21/2 years.

It has been an extended journey and Im not from the woods, she wrote, adding that when she remains cancer-free for five years, the chances of recurrence are low.

Fighting cancer beyond the rogue cells in her body has energized Overington. She and her fiance ran the Boston Marathon in 2021 during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, both dyeing their hair pink to operate a vehicle home the idea. Right before starting the race, they took a selfie. A slogan on the midsection of these jerseys implored visitors to Defy cancer.

Overington explained the city of cancer warriors, cancer survivors and the ones that love them to DMV officials in a July 2021 email, that was a reply with their letter informing her they were revoking her license plate. She asked officials to reconsider, arguing the license plate had not been obscene. Moreover, it had also spurred conversations between her and like-minded strangers who might do not have met otherwise.

My vanity plate receives positive feedback everywhere I go, and I’ve had lots of deep conversations with complete strangers about my cancer and how cancer has touched their lives due to it, she wrote in the e-mail.

Secretary of the Department of Transportation Nicole Majeski replied that DMV staffers approved your vanity plate in error and because it contained a perceived profanity, it needed to be recalled. An attorney representing state officials would later remember that Overingtons initial obtain the license plate came in December 2020 through the first year of the pandemic, when DMV staff were being stretched with their breaking point, a stressor that resulted in the plate being inadvertently approved.

Overington said in court papers that she was thrilled when she got her license plate. She rushed to place it on her behalf car, took an image and crowed about any of it on Facebook. She was devastated when she learned the DMV was taking it away.

On Thursday night, Overington told The Post that she plans to help keep fighting on her behalf FCANCER license plate.

I acquired it as a celebration of my battle, she said late Thursday within an online message, and I believe its vital that you fight for everything you have confidence in, and I really believe in the very first Amendment.

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