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Baltimore-area woman replaces teen's stolen wheelchair

October 31, 1997

By MARLO BARNHART

Staff Writer

A Baltimore-area woman who saw news reports about the theft of Jeff Hasenbuhler's motorized wheelchair decided to give her own wheelchair to the Hagerstown youth.

"I have another chair, a manual one, so I thought this young man could use my motorized one," Mary Bond of Carney, Md., said Thursday afternoon.

Bond, who has multiple sclerosis, said hearing that someone had taken the wheelchair of 16-year-old Hasenbuhler, who has cerebral palsy, touched her heart.

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Bond's motorized chair was delivered to Hasenbuhler's West Side Avenue home Thursday by Lou Davis, a news reporter with television station WMAR in Baltimore.

Hasenbuhler's mother, Tina Morris, was overwhelmed by the response to the Oct. 24 theft of her son's wheelchair.

The royal blue Action Flyer wheelchair was taken from in front of the family's house.

Morris said that Marge Saia, of Glen Burnie, Md., donated a push walker with a seat. The walker was delivered by Baltimore television station WJZ on Wednesday, she said.

Hagerstown City Police said Thursday they haven't located the stolen wheelchair.

On Tuesday, a Hagerstown man reported having seen two people with Hasenbuhler's $4,000 electric wheelchair on the day of the theft, Sgt. Ken Wasilius said.

Morris said both the R&R Deli on Salem Avenue and the West Side Deli next to her house, have set up jars for donations.

Wal-Mart in the Valley Plaza is directing a portion of its sales on Dec. 6 from 7 a.m. to noon to help replace Jeff's motorized chair, according to Brenda Hazel, who handles store promotions with Assistant Manager Patrick Cochran.

"We will send that money to the American Red Cross which will then put it toward a motorized chair for Jeff," Hazel said.

"I just can't believe this response," Morris said.

Her son also expressed surprise at the phone calls and visitors concerned about the loss of his wheelchair.

"You know, people really do care," Jeff told his mother.

Morris, who does not have a telephone has received dozens of letters and has received phone calls through the West Side Deli. The police even delivered several messages, she said.

Another Hagerstown woman, also named Tina Morris, said Thursday she has been inundated with calls and wishes people wishing to get in touch with Jeff or his mother would call West Side Deli.

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