Charlotte Cuthbertson, 72 ,has been in a motorized wheelchair ever since her stroke in 2012.
When it happened they also took her license and her wheelchair became her primary way of getting around town.
But she always had problems with it.
“My wheelchair broke down from day one,” said Cuthbertson. "It’s always been a lemon."
Over the years money was pumped into it for repairs and when it stopped running this spring and the service technician finally said the parts were too expensive to make fixing it worthwhile.
“It just went kaput,” she said.
A new chair is around $15,000 and although the government is covering a portion of the cost, she still has to come up with $4,000 on her own.
Cuthbertson’s on a fixed income and living on her own — she doesn't have the money.
Cuthbertson uses a wheelchair to get to doctors’ appointments, hospital visits, for shopping, going to the bank, to visit friends and family, and just doing regular things around the house.
“Ever since my husband passed I’m all alone. I can’t stay in all the time, it bothers me. If I can’t rely on a wheelchair I’m stuck. It’s my independence,” she said.
Right now she’s using a loaner wheelchair that’s too small for her, has no seatbelt, and the wheels are falling off it.
The loaner is hard to steer and Cuthbertson keeps smacking into walls leaving her with bruised and swollen legs.
Cuthbertson’s best friend Clara Robinson and her sister Sandy Smythe have stepped in to help
The two have organized a dinner fundraiser this September to help Cuthberston buy a new wheelchair.
Robinson is in a wheelchair herself and is passionate about making sure her friend gets a proper, well fitted, electric wheelchair.
“It’s always great to know you can rely on your chair. This is our legs, our freedom. A chair allows us to live and die with a sense of dignity,” said Robinson.
On Saturday Robinson and Smythe held a barbecue and yardsale that raised just little over $300.
That was just a warmup for the the dinner on Septmber 9.
The dinner will be catered by Aurora’s and will take place at the Trinity Centre at 31 Old Garden Road.
Tickets are $25.
For more information call Clara Robinson at 705-254-1899, or Sandy Smythe at 705-206-9669.