Valley man replaces paraplegic woman's stolen wheelchair

PHOENIX - Marlene Lovitt had her custom wheelchair stolen in front of her Phoenix home, and when Bill Sexton heard about it, he wanted to do something to help.

He donated a new wheelchair that he had in his garage he had never used.

"It just made me feel good that I could do something good for somebody else. That's the whole thing," said Sexton.

The two had never met, but with his generous gesture, Sexton gave Marlene a part of her independence back.

A brain and spine injury from a motorcycle accident in 1979 paralyzed Sexton.

For years, she has relied on a custom wheelchair to get around, until someone stole it on February 26.

Her twin sister and guardian, Darlene, had placed it in their carport at 39th and Maryland avenues to dry when someone took it.

"It took us awhile to get that wheelchair," said Darlene. "That chair means a lot to her and it means a lot to me too because that way we're not confined to the house. We can get out and go."

While the new wheelchair is not custom made, Darlene said it's a better fit than the wheelchair her sister has been using since hers was stolen.

"We appreciate it so much," said Darlene.

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