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Who Steals a Wheelchair?

January 12, 2012

Moira is a seven-year-old Minneapolis girl with mild cerebral palsy. She has braces on her legs and can walk, but not without difficulty and not for long distances, so when Moira has to travel longer distances she uses her wheelchair. Last Sunday, someone stole Moira’s wheelchair from her family’s driveway.

Seriously, who steals a wheelchair?

The chair is valued at $3,000 which makes it difficult for Moira’s parents to replace, so they’ve posted a sign on their garage door asking whoever took the chair to please bring it back.

To maintain my sanity, I can only hope that the person who stole Moira’s chair has a child who needs it more than Moira does. Anything less than that and I start to short circuit thinking about the direction of the world and a person who would steal a child’s wheelchair.

Moira had been using a temporary wheelchair from the Courage Center and while you’d think that’s a happy ending to a sad and disturbing story, it isn’t. Enter a Good Samaritan. Yesterday, Moira traveled to Residential Mortgage Group where she met a man named Steve Sherwood who is paying $5,000 for a new chair for Moira. Says Sherwood: “It’s the right thing to do.”

Says me: “Wow.”

And it doesn’t end there. A spokesperson for the Science Museum of Minnesota said they were so touched by Moira’s story, and wanting to be a part of the community of support around her, they are giving Moira and her family a complimentary membership to the museum.

“It’s the right thing to do.” – Steve Sherwood, Residential Mortgage Group

My back hurts today and I have a headache and it’s suddenly windy and cold outside and you know what, I don’t care. I don’t even really care about the people who stole Moira’s wheelchair anymore because I’m a sucker for happy endings. But it’s not just the happy ending that makes me feel good today, what makes me feel good is that the world has people like Steve Sherwood and non-profit groups like the Science Museum of Minnesota who see a issue and step up and resolve it. In the process, they’ve not only made a little seven-year-old girl and her family happy, but they’ve made me happy as well. I hope some of it rubs off on you, too.

21 Comments leave one →
  1. January 12, 2012 9:21 am

    My late boss had a great rule, “always do the right thing, even when no one is looking” – sounds like a few other people follow it. I’m glad to know that for every not so good person, there are plenty of others trying to do their best. In the end, that is what counts.


    • Michael Fishman permalink
      January 17, 2012 8:51 am

      I think your late boss had it right, Maria. Based on some stuff I’ve read there are thought to be different levels of charity and one of the highest levels is to give without knowing who you’re giving to.


  2. January 12, 2012 10:29 am

    Like you, Michael, I want to believe that whoever did “steal” Moira’s wheelchair needed it more than she did. Let’s hope so because if not, I will blow a gasket too. One thing I can NOT tolerate is stealing. And when it’s done to someone who really needs the item, I could go on a rampage!

    I digress.

    I need to keep this positive.

    Steve Sherwood is the epitome of kindness. He has shown, not just to Moira, but to the world, that good people do exist. I know there are many others just like him but we don’t always hear about them. And that’s okay, a good deed doesn’t have to be announced to be effective.


    • Michael Fishman permalink
      January 17, 2012 8:54 am

      WordPress needs a “Like” button like Facebook has! I agree with you, Pamela. And maybe the unannounced good deed doer is even better (I’m not sure how to define ‘better’) than others because they’re giving from a need to help anyone rather than a need to help a specific person. I don’t know, just a thought.


  3. January 12, 2012 11:35 am

    I can’t believe someone would steal someone’s wheelchair, but what an awesome response.


  4. January 12, 2012 11:36 am

    Thanks for the sharing the happy ending Michael. Do the right thing – always.


  5. January 12, 2012 2:38 pm

    You have to LOVE it when people step up to the plate and do things not only because it is the right thing to do–but because someone also has the heart to do it. I’m a sucker for happy endings too!

    Cheers, Jenn.


  6. January 12, 2012 2:44 pm

    Great story Michael. Is there such a great need for wheelchairs in the criminal community that they have to resort to theft? Good for Moira though, she has learned that there are good people out there among the scum.


  7. January 12, 2012 4:00 pm

    It is stories like this that remind me that sometimes ugly things have to happen, for beautiful things to take place. Wonderful story, thank you!


    • Michael Fishman permalink
      January 17, 2012 8:55 am

      I’m happy you read it!


  8. beverlydiehl permalink
    January 12, 2012 4:43 pm

    I’m happy that it worked out okay for Moira, but I don’t get it, either. Maybe the thief did know a child who needed a wheelchair, or even an adult, not realizing it was sized for a child. Still. I’m sad, and bewildered.


  9. January 12, 2012 4:47 pm

    Thanks for sharing this good vs evil story. Gotta just wonder in a world full of Karma what will happen to the wheelchair thief? I believe he/she/they will pay dearly for that slip of good judgement.

    So happy a 7 year old doesn’t have to suffer for the sickness and mean spirited actions of some degenerate.


    • Michael Fishman permalink
      January 17, 2012 8:56 am

      I think thiefs are selfish and I’m not sure if selfish people take the time to think about karma. They want it and that’s all. I just hope there was a good reason to take the wheelchair otherwise I wind up feeling too depressed about it.


  10. January 12, 2012 6:28 pm

    Stealing from a child, much less a disabled child, is just plain sad. I’m glad that people stepped up for her. Not only to help her with the wheelchair, but to help restore some faith in mankind.


  11. Anonymous permalink
    January 12, 2012 7:10 pm

    It is truly heartwarming, Michael, to know that there are still these kinds of good people in the world–and that some of these that have the means to do so are stepping up to the plate. I agree with the comment above–that this story does indeed restore some faith in mankind. I am down with a nasty cold/flu thing–but just reading this makes me feel better. Thanks, Michael


    • Michael Fishman permalink
      January 17, 2012 8:58 am

      I hope you’re cold/flu thing is getting better. Thank you for reading!


  12. January 13, 2012 2:40 pm

    I’m not going to think about the thief either. Instead, I’m just going to smile and likely get all teary over the kindness of strangers.


    • Michael Fishman permalink
      January 17, 2012 8:58 am

      Tear away all you want. I have a box of Kleenex brand facial tissue for you!


  13. January 15, 2012 3:53 pm

    I love it when goodness steps in.


  14. Elaine LK permalink
    January 17, 2012 5:49 pm

    Me, too, Beth! I was feeling all depressed reading this story, Michael, and then you swooped in with the good stuff and made it better. There are a lot of good people in the world; they just aren’t as loud as the bad ones, but sometimes they do get noticed. Thanks for allowing us to notice them.



  1. Clowns to the Left, Jokers to the Right (or: Who Steals a Wheelchair? Part 2) « Michaelsfishbowl

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