‘A great birthday present:’ Woman starts fundraiser for scooter as disability creates mobility challenges
CUMBERLAND, Va. (WWBT) - A Cumberland woman’s wish to turn a frustrating situation into something positive for a complete stranger happened, and now she is hoping to raise money for a new mobility scooter.
Patreishia “Trish” Newburn reached out to 12 On Your Side to donate a scooter that wasn’t the right fit for her, but she is still in need. A disability is creating mobility challenges.
Newburn was born with club feet and spent most of her life ignoring pain and other challenges. Before retirement, she worked jobs that required driving and was determined to keep moving.
“To be able to go shopping, make my groceries, things that you do in everyday life you take for granted until something like this happens; this is independence,” explained Newburn. “When I was working, I wasn’t supposed to be on my feet for more than 2 hours at a time. This has been going on for years. I ignored it, mortgage, car payment, you don’t have time to worry about health problems. I have always walked around with my disability and as I got into my 40′s walking, it becomes a problem. And I finally meet a husband at 45 and you want to walk places and do things together and my feet won’t let me.”
Last year, Newburn decided to order a brand new scooter online for $999. She thought it would make it easier when she and her husband go out in nearby Farmville. Calling repair shops did not help. She says many places were not willing to work on it.
She was later told the scooter was made with after-market parts. Newburn was referred to a locally owned mechanic, and after spending nearly $2,000 and waiting six months, she was given the scooter back.
Following the modifications, the scooter no longer has clearance, making it difficult to travel up her rural gravel driveway or other non-flat surfaces.
“This doesn’t work for me and it is basically new,” she said. “I will find another way.”
After her story initially aired on NBC12, Newburn was connected with the F.R.E.E. Foundation, and donated her scooter in the hopes someone else will be able to use it. Newburn has now started an online fundraiser to get a scooter that will be a safe fit for her.
Newburn says meeting her goal of $4,000 for a new mobility scooter would be the best birthday present for her. Her birthday is June 27.
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