September 29, 2004
Mike Myers went up and down his Mesa street on a new scooter Tuesday, then said he was overwhelmed by the generosity of strangers.
The Pride Mobility Hurricane scooter was purchased with donations that came pouring in after word got around that his old scooter had been stolen from his carport two months ago. Myers has multiple sclerosis and depends on a scooter for grocery shopping.
"I’m too ’whelmed," said Myers, who also celebrated his 40th birthday Tuesday.
"It’s giving me my life back," he said. "My deep freezer is not going to go empty like it has in the past, and like it almost is right now."
The battery-powered scooter has headlights and turn signals, can go up to 8 mph, and is slender enough to fit through his front door. Apria Healthcare, the dealer for the scooter, modified a Flexible Flyer wagon so it could hold the cooler Myers uses for groceries.
People touched by Myers’ plight have donated $6,000 since the theft almost two months ago, said John Schaumburg, pastor of First Evangelical Lutheran Church. Myers had never attended the church, which took on the job of managing the money people wanted to give him.
Church volunteer David Cordaro kicked off the fundraising effort and helped secure an additional $3,000 grant through Thrivent Financial Services for Lutherans, but lost track of the individual donations.
"I have no idea how much money there is because it just kept coming in and coming in," he said. "It was unbelievable."
Apria provided the $5,000 scooter at a considerable discount, so there was money left over to increase Myers’ mobility at home, as well. One of his bathrooms will be renovated Thursday so it can be made wheelchair-accessible.
"It’s going to make a huge difference in how I’m able to live," he said.