Man gets needed set of wheels


After a fire destroyed his van, Don Axford was without a vehicle. After undergoing chemotherapy for his cancer, he realized how difficult it is to do any daily chores, including chemotherapy, without any means of transportation.

Enter The Memorial Hospital, Craig Police Department and J&R Cyclery. These organizations worked together to obtain a bicycle for Axford. The idea was brought up around May 1 and Axford received his bike Tuesday.

Marie Kettle, TMH emergency room supervisor, was a main leader of the bike rally.

"He has been through so much with chemotherapy and during one of his sessions he mentioned to me that if he had a bicycle, he could run errands by himself instead of being dependent on other people, and he could also go to the river and fish once in a while," Kettle said.

The bike, a Diamondback mountain bike, had been in the Craig Police Department's "bike impound" lot for about a year. Police officers chose the bike and brought it to J&R Cyclery.

Jerry Downing of J&R Cyclery put the finishing touches on the bike. After a full tune-up and other work was completed, the bike was rideable.

"I am happy to do it," Downing said. "It is being part of the community."

"I really appreciate this," Axford said. "(Kettle) and I were talking one day and she said she would check to see if she could get me a bike ... and she did.

"This is a way for me to get more exercise which I need."

All groups involved in were happy to help by pulling together as a community.

"This is a very positive thing as we all worked together," Craig Police Officer Kelly Brady said.

Besides the bike, TMH nurses collaborated to purchase a bike helmet for Axford.

"It's a wonderful thing to give back to the community. It's my warm fuzzy for the day," Kettle said.

According to TMH Community Relations Director Heather Houseworth, this is another example of how wonderful Craig is.

"This is exactly the reason I wanted to come to work here because of the wonderful employees like Marie and the nurses, who donated the bike helmet. It goes to show this is a giving community with caring people," she said.

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