LAKE WORTH, Fla.- - The search is on for the person who stole a unique bicycle from a woman who depends on it, not for her livelihood, but for her independence.
Social media has a powerful reach. When the story hit Facebook, the people in Lake Worth rallied together to help a neighbor in need.
Once active and on the go, “I had to give up my car, motorcycle, tennis, running,” said artist Debra Robert.
Her life changed when doctors diagnosed her with multiple sclerosis four years ago.
“I've got to pay for transportation, cab or Uber or I have to wait on my husband or i have to ask him to get me things,” explained Robert.
To get around, her husband outfitted her bike with disability wheels so Debra could be independent.
“That was really my last thing is oh my gosh i get to keep my bicycle because my husband figured out to get adult training wheels,” she explained.
Until last Wednesday, Debra and her husband stopped at Revelry in downtown Lake Worth for happy hour.
“My husband will walk with me and I'll be on my bicycle,” said Debra.
She locked it up in front of the Bamboo Room next door. When she came out, her special bike was gone. “I was devastated,” she said. “It kind of wiped the rug out from under me at the moment.”
Since the theft, Debra's been mostly confined to her home. “Being able to be downtown and have it just two blocks away and not be able to get there, it's a little frustrating,” said Debra.
To help, the community has come together. The president of the Lake Worth Little Free Libraries stepped in and set up a GoFundMe page after Debra painted several little libraries for them. And the owners of CWS Bar + Kitchen are raising money for Debra's new bike.
“She's a person who's been taken advantage of and had something taken from her that's dearly important that helps her function in her daily life,” said Eric Digeon, the general manager.
Debra said the outpouring of support keeps her moving. “I'm so blown away by this,” said Debra.