Steve Zandy is without his special wheels. His highly customized three-wheel bicycle was stolen on June 26.
Zandy sustained brain damage and resulting ataxia due to an auto accident 26 years ago when he was 15. Ataxia, causes a lack of muscle coordination when performing voluntary movements.
Matt Walthour of Island Bike Shop is locating the parts for such a specialized bike.
"Some parts they don't make any more, so warehouses are scouring for the parts for another bike," Walthour said. "Sun Bikes has been the major company that has been involved with Steve's bikes in the past. It's all done at cost."
Walthour hopes to have the needed parts in a week or so and that it will take about a month to construct the bike.
The first bike put together by Walthour was four years ago. The most recent was completed about a month ago. The Marco Island Lutheran Church Woman's Club provided the funds, about $1,400.
Michelle Hurtley alerted her friends on Facebook about Zandy's plight when she heard of the theft. Friend Karen Nettles put it on her Facebook,
"I initially wanted to help get his bike returned, and that's why I posted the information on my Facebook," she said. "I quickly realized that I wasn't the only one in the community appalled by this act. It was suggested to me by a friend in Mississippi actually that we get together and buy Steve a new bike.
"People quickly began pledging money to help in the effort. It has restored my faith in humanity! asking friends to donate for a new bike. She then called Steve Stefanides, chairman of Christmas Island Style who has set up an account to handle donations. Stefanides met with Tiffany Holmuth, president of Marco's Mutual of Omaha Bank and she promptly put out a glass container for donations,
In such a short time the fund has grown to more than $1,000.
"The community coming together for me, I really don't know the words to say for what is being done," Zandy said. "Marco is my family and what they are doing is what a family does, they look out for their own."
Stefanides said, "With a little more help Steve can have Christmas in July."
Additional donations can be made in cash at the bank and by check to Christmas Island Style. P.O. Box 1216, Marco Island, Fla, 34146.