7/30/2014

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Problem Solvers

Stolen ramp confines disabled man: 'I feel hopeless and lost'

Stolen ramp confines disabled man: 'I feel hopeless and lost'

SEATTLE -- A wheelchair is Tim Owens' link to the outside world; to groceries, medicines, relatives, and the bus stop.

"I got up to get my AIDS medicine and the ramp was gone," says Owens.

Owens suffers neuropathy, a nerve disorder that he says is linked to his HIV and AIDS treatments and diabetes. Without his wheelchair, walking is a shaky, painful struggle.

"Falls are common," he said.

Between locking up for bed Wednesday night and waking up Thursday morning, somebody stole the portable aluminum wheelchair ramp from the front stoop of his North Seattle home.

"I feel hopeless and lost," he said. He said his wheelchair would tip over if he tried rolling it through the front door.

A friend bought Owens the $350 ramp in August because he couldn't afford one. He said doesn't have the money to replace the missing one either.

For now he's relying on rides from friends and caretakers.

"You wouldn't think a 6 foot piece of aluminum would make that much of a difference to somebody's life but it does," he said.

If you'd like to help Owens, you can donate through our Problem Solvers fund

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