Written by Christine Pitawanich, Posted: Mon, September 24 2012 at 6:39 PM, Updated: Mon, September 24 2012 at 7:42 PM
Mark Towery has been in a wheelchair for the past 12 years, suffering from Multiple Sclerosis.
But that didn't stop him from participating in this weekend's Rogue Half Marathon which started in Talent.
"I got out of my manual wheelchair and into the hand cycle and did the half marathon. I came back to pick up my wheelchair and it was missing," said Towery.
And it was in the business parking lot in the Clearview area that police say the wheelchair was taken between eight in the morning and three in the afternoon.
"It's hurtful, it's not just a bicycle it's how I get around, it's my life, it's a part of who I am. I can't function without it," said Towery.
Meantime, over at the Talent Police Department...
"We're hoping it's a case of somebody seeing it and in a good will gesture maybe taking it for safe keeping."
And it looks like Chief Moran's hope came true, because back with Mark Towery NBC 5 was there when he received a text message that changed everything.
"I got a text from my brother and somebody from the chamber of commerce found my wheelchair," said Towery.
A good samaritan spotted his roughly $3500 wheelchair, custom fitted just for him, and taking it just to make sure nothing happened to it.
"I'm ecstatic. Relieved that bad people aren't stealing wheelchairs because that would really dampen my outlook on people," Towery said.
On Monday evening he was reunited with his wheelchair and now that it's been found...as the only wheelchair competitor, there's nothing to spoil his first place finish in his division.
Christine Pitawanich was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. In 2010, she received a master's degree in Broadcast Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in New York.
Christine also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Washington.
Before joining the NBC5 News team, she had the opportunity to file reports from Washington D.C. for WFFT FOX Ft. Wayne News in Indiana. Christine has also interned at KOMO-TV in Seattle.
Christine loves to ski, try new food and have fun in the outdoors.