Scooting around on his beloved mobile
|By Jennifer Hughey - Contributing Writer | April 5,, 2018|
Mike Bachynski is loving his new ride. The well-known Haliburton resident was floored when, after only 15 days, almost $5,000 was raised for a new mobility scooter through a GoFundMe page, set up with the help of friend and former co-worker, Andrea Strano.
“I saw that Mike was having trouble with his old scooter and I wanted to be able to help him somehow,” the local real estate agent said. Bachynski and Strano used to work together at Bowes and Cocks in Haliburton. She told The Highlander about reading social media posts about Bachynski’s old scooter, the repairs he was constantly having to make, and how it was likely that it wouldn’t get him around much longer.
“I contacted Mike the next day and asked what he thought about the idea of me starting a GoFundMe page, with a photo and some information about him, and sharing the page with the community.”
Bachynski was born with a form of spina bifida, a congenital defect of the spine which often causes paralysis of the lower limbs. In 2012, a bone infection resulted in the amputation of his left leg below the knee. He said he uses a prosthetic, which helps him get around a bit better. But, without his scooter, he wouldn’t be able to leave home and do things such as going to work at Community Living in Haliburton or errands in town.
“The scooter is important to me for my everyday travelling,” he said. “If I didn’t have one I would be housebound.” Strano said Bachynski was thrilled by
her offer and they decided to launch the campaign right away.
“The response from the community has been amazing,” she said. “In just over two weeks, the funds were raised in full and [on Mar. 29], Mike received his new black scooter complete with a heavy-duty carrier.”
Donations came from local residents, anonymous donors, business owners from out of town and the Lions Club of Haliburton.
“Many people stopped into the ReMax office to deliver their donations in person, and I was able to manually enter those donations into the GoFundMe account,” Strano said. Bachynski said he was shocked at the outpouring of financial support, especially an anonymous donor who tipped them over the edge.
“I would like to say thanks to everyone ... and that it was muchly appreciated,” he said. “If it was not for the community coming together, and for Andrea and Jeff Strano with all their help with this whole process, I would be housebound.”
For Strano, it’s just another example of why Haliburton County is a great place to live. “Mike is a really great guy, always smiling and friendly and helpful to everyone around him,” she said. “I’m so happy that I could help out in this way. I think both him and I were both surprised at how many people came forward to donate, and that the goal was reached so quickly.
“We are lucky to live in a community where people care and look out for each other.”
JENNIFER HUGHEY is a contributing writer for The Highlander.