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Local quadriplegic woman needs power wheelchair

By Liz Kilmer, Reporter, LKilmer@wfmz.com
Published On: Mar 26 2014 04:41:10 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 26 2014 06:00:19 PM CDT

A local quadriplegic woman is in need of a new power wheelchair.

BOYERTOWN, Pa. -

A local quadriplegic woman is in need of a new power wheelchair.

"Without my wheelchair, I don't know where I'd be," said Cindy Hettinger, of Boyertown, whose current chair is falling apart.

"Sometimes it won't work and you gotta tear it apart. And the insurance doesn't want to pay for it," said Sharon Hettinger, Cindy's mom.

While insurance will cover some of the cost, the family said they need to raise close to $12,000 to purchase all of the necessary wheelchair add-ons. A fundraiser has been ordered to do so, scheduled for Saturday, Apr. 5 at Zerns Farmers Market in Gilbertsville. Beginning around 2 p.m., there will be a chicken barbeque, baked goods for sale, bingo, a 50/50 raffle and other games.

"Hopefully we have a very good turnout, can make some money so she can get the chair of her dreams," said sister Deb Blank. "So that she can be more independent."

As it is, Cindy strives to live as independently as possible. Using her mouth, she can operate a computer and even paint.

"I'm always trying to do different things to keep my mind occupied and things like that," said Cindy. "I love life. I love shopping. I love just being around friends and hanging out."

Most recently, Cindy said she's started holding Tupperware house parties.

"I just don't let nothing hold me back. If I want to do something, I'll find a way to do it," she told 69 News.

According to family, Cindy's positivity has prevailed for as long as they can remember, even since her childhood, when doctors first discovered the spinal tumor that rendered her a quadriplegic. While experts didn't expect her to live to grade school, she is now approaching her 40th birthday.

"It's just truly amazing that we've had her this long, because we just never expected it," said Sharon.

"It's exciting," said Cindy. "I just encourage other people not to give up."