The community has rallied around a Mendota Heights girl whose specialized wheelchair was stolen this week, donating more than $8,000 to replace it.
Andrea Glewwe started a GoFundMe campaign Monday after somebody snatched her daughter Bobbi’s dark blue Ti-light wheelchair from the 500 block of Mendota Road near Warrior Drive. Glewwe set a goal of $6,500 but surpassed that by more than $1,500 in less than a day.
“We [her parents] and Bobbi are just blown away by everyone’s generosity,” Glewwe wrote in the GoFundMe posting. “A big thank you to all of you who pitched in to make this happen.”
Bobbi has cerebral palsy and had major orthopedic surgery in 2018. The girl parked the chair specially sized for her at the end of the driveway while she used a walker to practice walking. She went to the end of the block as she usually does, then returned home to find her wheelchair gone.
A bag hanging from the chair with Bobbi’s personal items also was taken.
Glewwe figured she would have to work through homeowner’s and medical insurance to get a replacement chair, a process that could take weeks. But after nearly 200 donors filled the GoFundMe account with enough money, Glewwe was able to order a new chair with the same company that supplied Bobbi’s original chair, cutting off a month or more of waiting.
“She’ll have a shiny red frame, something a little brighter and more daring,” Bobbi’s mother wrote.
Glewwe said if insurance covers the replacement cost or the family gets a new chair at a discount, any leftover money will go to Joni and Friends Wheels for the World.
“What a beautiful way for this situation to turn out,” Glewwe wrote. “Bobbi goes through some time without her wheels, but in the end, more than just her will benefit from what she’s gone through.”
Glewwe is still hoping the stolen bag turns up.
“The bags and the items in them don’t have monetary value — just personal and sentimental value, and who knows — someone out there knows where they are.”