Ohio boy who had wheelchair stolen gets two new ones
Written by Associated Press   
Sunday, 22 December 2013 07:47

CLEVELAND (AP) — Christmas came early, and twice over, for a 9-year-old Ohio boy whose wheelchair was stolen from the family garage last month.

A wheelchair for everyday use and one specifically for wheelchair basketball were presented to Stephen Gibson of Cleveland on Friday.

They were given by health-care product companies Invacare and Miller's Rental and Sales.

Stephen, a fourth-grader with cerebral palsy and scoliosis, quickly said "yeah" when asked if he was happy with the gifts.

Elyria-based Invacare's product manager Sarah Brown reached out to the Northeast Ohio Media Group after reading a story about the boy's ordeal.

"We're just really happy that we could make a difference in Stephen's life today and get him back to doing the things a kid does," Brown said.

Stephen's original chair eventually made its way to Cleveland police Nov. 15, but it was rickety and unusable.

Building the new chairs spanned four factories, three countries and two continents, Brown said.

An Invacare factory in France sent the light-up wheels overnight to a factory in Canada, where workers built the everyday wheelchair. His basketball chair was built in a factory in Tampa, Fla. Both were then shipped to Elyria.

"We knew Stephen really wanted light-up casters," Brown said.

In addition, Aimee Guzowski established Stephen's Motorized Wheelchair Fund.

Guzowski said every dollar donated will help the family pay for necessary updates to their home when Stephen is upgraded to a motorized wheelchair in a few months, due to his worsening scoliosis.

At the end of the day Friday, the fund had raised more than $2,000. Stephen's mother said she has already received some of the money.


Information from: The Plain Dealer, http://www.cleveland.com

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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