Nagel in need of a new wheelchair

Ted Nagel is in need of a new means of transportation.

For just about anyone else, this may seem like an easy enough request.

But for Nagel, it is his means to living a full and normal life.

Over the years, Nagel, 47, has become one of the Minden/Gardnerville downtown corridor's most familiar and loved faces.

He's often seen motoring around town in his customized electric wheelchair. But 10 years in the same piece of equipment have left him on shaky ground.

"Two times in the last year, the chair has collapsed on him and the paramedics have had to come and lift him back up," said Peck Nagel, Ted's mother. "It is really a hard situation because without a chair to get him around, he is more or less confined to his bed."

And as the chair gets older - it is currently barely operational - the price for a suitable new one gets steeper. Much steeper.

To outfit Nagel with a new chair will cost upwards of $36,000.

"We are turning to the community for help because we know that Ted has been a true joy to so many people in his life," Peck Nagel said."

Nagel has participated in several service clubs, churches and is perhaps best known for his singing in the Chorus of the Comstock barbershop quartet and karaoke nights at Sharkey's Casino.

He is involved with the praise and worship ministry at the Living Word Fellowship in Dresslerville.

Nagel also runs his own printing business out of his home, which he has turned into a functional print shop.

"Sometimes I just go over there to watch him work," Peck Nagel said. "When he was born as a quadrapalegic, the doctors told me that he would never be able to speak and contribute little to a community.

"When I look at the life he lives now, I am amazed. It brings tears to my eyes. He has been a joy in this town and to see him trapped at his house would be heartbreaking."

Nagel has Arthogryposis Multiplex Congentia, which has kept him in a wheelchair. He is the youngest of eight children, two of which have died after battles with cancer.

Sister Ellie O'Toole died in 2000, sister Sharri Holman died in August of 2005 and just recently his niece, Shelli Hodges, passed away.

The Wheels for Ted project has accumulated a little more than $5,000 toward the new chair, but is still far from reaching the $36,000 goal. It's estimated that it would take a full month after the money is raised to have a new chair constructed and delivered.

A fundraising meeting has been scheduled for Monday at 7 p.m. at Living Word Fellowship on 824 Pba'ul (Dark Brush) which is off Dresslerville Road in Gardnerville. For more information on the meeting, call 267-4282. Because of the complicated directions to get to the meeting, red arrows will be placed on street signs to direct traffic to the meeting.

A benefit raffle has also been organized. Tickets for a 1991 Cadillac Sedan de Ville are being sold for $50 a piece. Only 100 tickets will be sold.

Tickets can be purchased from Pastor Gene Holman (265-3235), Bob Miller (265-3200), Martha Spogen (267-4282), Reen Tinsinger (265-7747), Ted Nagel (720-8316) and Arika Williams (292-0228).

- R-C Staff Writer Jonni Hill contributed to this report.


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