The Durant and Powe Families Paying It Forward on the Mobility Scooters
Dear family, friends, and colleagues,
In September 2014, I was diagnosed with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), bi-lateral avascular necrosis, uncontrolled hypertension and weak lung muscles. I was devastated by these diagnoses as my wife, Moriah, daughter, Rosaria, and I were starting a new life in Delaware, Ohio. Because of historical health issues, my orthopedic surgeon recommended that I limit walking around and carrying heavy items. During a conversation with my good friend and fellow Rotarian, Larry Powe, about my health, without hesitation, Larry offered to give me his late father’s electric -powered mobility scooter. The gift that Larry gave me meant so much because it gave me independence to play with my daughter and prolonged my ability to continue working at my profession. Also, it relieved a lot of physical stress from Moriah, as I had the ability to do more, independently.
My Michigan physicians recommended I visit the Cleveland Clinic (Clinic) for my POTS treatment. In February 2015, I met with Dr. Kenneth Mayuga, an electro-physiology cardiologist. I am very thankful to Dr. Mayuga and my 10 Clinic doctors for helping me get back on my feet. I returned to work in October 2015.
During my annual visit to my hematologist at the Clinic, Dr. Keith McCrae, in October 2016, I observed an elderly couple in the Taussig Cancer Center struggling to transport one another in a wheelchair on carpet. I recalled the struggle Moriah faced pushing me around. During my visit with Dr. McCrae, I offered to purchase scooters for use at the Taussig Cancer Center to assist, give patients some independence and take the physical and mental stress off their caregivers.
On November 8, 2016, I donated two mobility scooters to the Clinic’s Taussig Cancer Center in honor of Moriah, Rosaria and in memory of Eugene Powe, Larry’s father, who had died of cancer. At that time, no one knew what was to follow in the near future. Tragically, on the night of December 7, 2016, my family and I were hit in a high speed head-on collision in Delaware County, Ohio. Unfortunately, our precious four year old, Rosaria, did not survive. While Moriah and I sustained serious injuries, coincidentally, this was the same night the Clinic released an article about our scooter gifts to the Taussig Cancer Center. Since the accident that forever changed our lives, Moriah and I continue to use our scooters for mobility, as it has helped us tremendously with our daily lives. We have so many wonderful memories with Rosaria. In the spring and summer of 2015, then 3 year old, Rosaria and I routinely went to the playground, followed by a stop at the town grocery store to ride “Sandy,” the mechanical horse and to get ice cream. As you can imagine, by the time we got home, Rosaria would have ice cream everywhere on her. When our second scooter had been purchased, Moriah, Rosaria and I rode the scooters around the neighborhood and even to watch the holiday fireworks. On one particular occasion, Rosaria and I chased an ice cream truck seven blocks, blowing the horn on the scooter and yelling for them stop. We, ultimately, caught up with the ice cream truck. The mobility scooters made it possible for me to regain my independence while incorporating fun activities with Rosaria, such as trips to the mall, zoo, amusement parks, auto shows, state fair, and Trick-or-Treating. Rosaria enjoyed riding with me to various Clinic appointments and loved looking at the doughnut shaped water pool.
Despite our devastating loss of our precious Rosaria, and experiencing severe injuries, Moriah and I remain committed to continuing to aid the Clinic’s Taussig Cancer patients through our Mobility Scooter Campaign, in memory of Rosaria T. Durant and Eugene E. Powe.
As members of the service club, Rotary International, throughout our adulthood, Larry and I strongly believe and live Rotary International’s motto “Service Above Self.” By launching this Campaign, we are encouraged to help, in constructive ways, to enhance the quality of life for those in need.
Please help us keep our beloved memories of Rosaria T. Durant and Eugene E. Powe alive, by helping us raise money to purchase ten (10) new electric mobility scooters to serve patients in need at the Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Center.
Thank you, in loving memory of Rosaria T. Durant and Eugene E. Powe!
Steven A. Durant