Video of Detroit man using custom wheelchair goes viral, family asks for help

Man researched wheelchairs for 2 years

Melinda’s post of her Dad finally being able to stand garnered more than 10,000 likes on social media.

DETROIT – It’s been decades since one Detroit grandfather has been able to walk due to multiple sclerosis.

After years searching online, he found a company that sells custom built wheelchairs. It’s designed to help the user stand upright and be able to walk.

The problem is that the wheelchair costs $50,000.

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Eugene Anderson has been using a wheelchair for 23 years because of MS.

His daughter Melinda is hoping others will help improve the quality of his life.

“The last time I saw him stand up was in college,” Melinda said. “By the time I graduated, he was in a wheelchair.”

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Melinda’s post of her Dad finally being able to stand garnered more than 10,000 likes on social media.

“It was incredible because I kept seeing the number, and I said ‘What’s going on here?‘” Melinda said. “People were already commenting and saying ‘It’s amazing, my brother needs that chair.‘”

The 72-year-old former computer engineer was amused by all the attention

“It surprised me,” Eugene said.

For father of two has spent years looking for advancements in wheelchair technology.

“He researched his chair for two years and I’d be like, ‘Oh, dad,' and finally we saw it and he wouldn’t give up,” Melinda said.

Manufactured by The Redman Company in Arizona, each chair is custom built to the user’s body.

“It felt great. I wanted to walk,” Eugene said. “That’s the main thing. This is going to help me walk. That’s what I’m looking at.”

But the technology comes with a $50,000 price tag. Melinda and her twin sister Regena were trying to save up for one, but since COVID-19 canceled major gatherings, the event producer couldn’t find work.

“I understand we’re in the middle of a pandemic and a civil rights movement, but hope is not canceled and courage is not canceled,” Melinda said. “My father is the most courageous man I know.”

A GoFundMe has been set up for the family. You can donate here.

About the Authors:

Priya joined WDIV-Local 4 in 2013 as a reporter and fill-in anchor. Education: B.A. in Communications/Post Grad in Advanced Journalism

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.