The SCOOTER Store Surprises Union Hill Volunteer Firefighter With Scooter

Tuesday, October 27, 2009 General News
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ROCHESTER, N.Y., Oct. 26 Union Hill Fire Department firefighters save the lives of total strangers on an almost daily basis. It is no surprise they will do everything they can to change the life of one of their own, volunteer firefighter Marty Blakely.

During a vacation with his family this summer, Blakely suffered a blood clot, which led to the discovery of a cancerous tumor and the amputation of one of his legs, which has confined him to a wheelchair. The fire department held a benefit to help the Blakely family cover medical bills and raise money to complete home renovations to accommodate his wheelchair.

As the benefit began on Sunday, The SCOOTER Store and the fire department surprised Blakely at the Damascus Shrine Center with a three-wheel Revo electric scooter. On hand from The SCOOTER Store's Rochester operations were Distribution Center Manager Josh Hernandez, Mobility & Service Specialist Paul Little and Healthcare Relations Consultant Mike Krym to make the presentation. The scooter was donated under The SCOOTER Store's "Gift of Mobility" program, which provides mobility equipment and assistance to those who do not have the resources or insurance to obtain power wheelchairs and scooters.

Blakely met his wife Mary Ann while working for the fire department where she is the fire prevention coordinator. He has served as captain, assistant chief and a member of the board of directors. When he was not volunteering, he worked for Kaman Industrial Technologies and Yamaha Motor Sports as a demo snowmobile rider.

"Marty is a young man with a young family who is going through an incredible journey right now," said Fire Department Chief Brian Ball. "A past chief and dedicated volunteer, he is now in a day-to-day struggle at just 41 years old. Mobility is a huge issue since he lost his leg. His inability to care for himself without aid is a major physical and emotional obstacle."

The power chair will help Marty regain his freedom and independence. He can once again get around the garage to build or repair his vehicles and continue to participate in the scout events with his family.

"One of our distribution center managers contacted us about Mr. Blakely and the benefit for his family, asking for a unit to raffle, but we knew we could do so much more to help," said Doug Harrison, Founder, President and CEO of The SCOOTER Store. "We started the Gift of Mobility program because we understand that mobility, and the ensuing independence, is truly a gift. We are so glad to give independence back to a hero like Marty."

Harrison and his wife, Susanna, started the Gift of Mobility program in December 2002 to help people like Marty Blakely improve their quality of life by assisting in their independence and mobility. Since then, the outreach program has worked with nonprofit groups around the country to donate power wheelchairs, scooters and manual wheelchairs valued at more than $200,000 a year to individuals and community service organizations, enabling them to provide freedom and independence to people with limited mobility.

About The SCOOTER Store

Since 1991, The SCOOTER Store has helped provide freedom and independence to more people with limited mobility than any other company in the nation. Forty percent employee-owned, the company primarily offers power mobility equipment, including power wheelchairs, scooters, lifts, ramps, and accessories, in 48 states and Puerto Rico. The SCOOTER Store currently holds more than 30 percent of the current U.S. market in the DME industry and is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Health Care. The goal of The SCOOTER Store is to create an opportunity for every American senior to live their entire life safely and confidently at home.


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