, Oct. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Union Hill Fire Department firefighters save ROCHESTER, N.Y.
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
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
with a three-wheel Revo electric scooter. On Damascus Shrine Center
hand from The SCOOTER Store's
operations were Distribution Center Manager Rochester
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
About The SCOOTER StoreSince 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