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Therapy trike still missing, but generous offers abound

PINELLAS PARK — The bright green therapy tricycle hasn't been found, but the Garners have enough generous offers to buy several replacements.

Phone calls and e-mails have poured in to Tricia Garner and the St. Petersburg Times since the story of the stolen trike appeared Friday.

"It's so overwhelming," Garner said. "Even though money is so tight, people are so willing to give and help other people in bad times."

The $2,200 therapy trike was stolen from the family's porch sometime Saturday night. Garner has searched for it at pawn shops and scrap metal dealerships to no avail.

Her daughter, 14-year-old Christine, has cerebral palsy and needs it to stretch and strengthen her legs.

Many callers were furious that someone would steal from a disabled person. Several offered to write a check for the entire cost.

"This child needs help," said Bill Richards, 84, of Sun City. "She's trying her best."

Tricia Garner is asking people to hold off — at least for a few days — on donations. She still hopes the stolen trike will turn up because ordering a new one could take up to 12 weeks, she said.

Also, Custom Mobility, of Largo, which has helped Christine with her equipment needs since she was a toddler, is trying to get a replacement.

The company didn't supply the first tricycle, but company president Bruce Bayes said he will ask the manufacturer to provide a replacement either deeply discounted or for free.

He said Custom Mobility will try to absorb the remaining cost.

"I was very moved by the family's attitude," said Bayes. "When I see that, I go overboard to see what I can do to help."

Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at (813) 226-3433 or jvandervelde@sptimes.com.

Therapy trike still missing, but generous offers abound 09/30/11 [Last modified: Friday, September 30, 2011 10:15pm]
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