12-year-old receives wheelchair after outpour of support

June 15, 2011 8:50:08 PM PDT
12-year-old Olivia Golembiewski is a happy girl again thanks to a wheelchair and a concerned neighbor.

"She loves her chair, it's her mobility," Olivia's father Dan said.

Olivia has cerebral palsy and epilepsy and needs a wheelchair to get around school.

This morning, her father put her specially made chair outside their Wissonoming home.

Just a few minutes passed before he carried his daughter out to catch the school bus and the chair was gone.

"I couldn't believe it, first, I thought my husband was joking, but not is something you would joke about," Olivia's mother Terri said.

Seconds after Action News at 6 aired Olivia's story, generous viewers called in offering to donate wheelchairs.

One of them, Joan Heim, lives a few houses away from Olivia.

She had a spare wheelchair she couldn't wait to give to the girl.

"I just think it's downright disgusting, it's bad enough when you have to steal off a handicapped, but a little child?" Heim said.

"I was very overwhelmed by the generosity; I'm totally shocked that there's this much outpour of help for her," Dan said.

As Action News was interviewing Olivia's father Wednesday night, an employee of a nearby business, Unlimited Total Home Improvements, showed up with a $300 check to help the family.

"It's a shame, I drive by here every day and I see the hardship; it's beautiful, the inspiration people are doing," Richard Young of Unlimited Total Home Improvements said.

Olivia's parents say her original wheelchair was by the brand Quickie and purple in color with a black seat.

Olivia's book bag was hanging on it. Her name is embroidered on the back which was one of Olivia's favorite parts about her chair.

Olivia will need another special chair like the one she had, but her father says this chair is a good start to get his daughter moving again.

"She's a great little girl and she deserves help," Dan said.

Because of the outpouring of support, Olivia will be able to attend her brother's high school graduation tomorrow.

In an additional note, Action News was pleased to pass along to the family all the calls and messages viewers sent in concerning Olivia and her wheelchair.