DORMONT (KDKA) — A handicapped woman in the South Hills says she feels “violated” after someone stole two wheelchairs from her home.
Fifty-eight-year old Sherry Valentine is confined to a wheelchair. The former school crossing guard suffers from COPD, and she has bounced back from two bouts of cancer.
“They took my freedom away, and they put me back to where I’m a burden on everybody again,” Valentine told KDKA-TV’s Ralph Iannotti.
Sometime late Sunday night, or early Monday morning, two wheelchairs — one of them electric — vanished from the front porch of Valentine’s Pioneer Avenue home. She said she would use the motorized chair to go see a friend up the street or to go down to the corner store.
“People think you like [being in a wheelchair],” Valentine said. “People make comments. ‘I wish I had one of them.’ I wish I didn’t have to have these.”
Valentine still has another wheelchair, but it has a broken wheel; she uses it to get around a little inside her home.
“I’m very upset on her behalf,” Valentine’s daughter Stephanie Marrotti, of Castle Shannon, said. “Who would do something like this? Obviously, they know there’s a person who’s handicapped who lives in the house. There were two wheelchairs, and a ramp [leading to the front porch].”
Valentine says despite her missing wheelchairs, she clings to the hope that the person who took them will have second thoughts about what they did. And her message to the porch theft was a short one.
“Bring them back, no questions asked, and I hope you don’t need [a wheelchair] one day.”