Crime victim fighting back

The consequences stemming from Sarah McGuire’s beating by a burglar in May 2010 will not go away.

Because of the attack, she now spends most of her time in a wheelchair and uses a special walker to move about in her apartment. A caregiver must help her with personal hygiene and other basic tasks.

The attack not only altered McGuire’s life forever, it has put much stress on the family’s pocketbook.

Sharon Olson, McGuire’s mother, has found it necessary to devote much of her free time engaged in fundraising projects so her daughter could be evaluated, diagnosed and receive physical therapy at Mayo Clinic.

And more challenges face the two as travel-related and lodging expenses for the trips mount higher.

This Saturday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Olson will be in the lobby of the Fisher Community Center selling discounted Hy-Vee pizza coupons to generate income for McGuire’s next trip to Mayo Clinic in early February, where she will undergo more tests and physical therapy.

The coupon entitles one to buy a one-topping family size pizza for $10 that ordinarily costs $10.99, and is good only at the Marshalltown Hy-Vee.

Olson said she will receive $2 for each coupon sold – so she is looking forward to the opportunity.

The lion’s share of fundraising to date was used to buy a new car, used in a raffle which proceeds funded a required Mayo down payment of $10,000 for Sarah’s diagnosis.

“We will be forever grateful to Jensen, Inc. of Marshalltown, Hy-Vee, and the hundreds of people who have helped us,” Olson said.

Olson said there was good news from Mayo Clinic recently.

“A vertebrae in Sarah’s neck initially dislodged from the attack has gone back into place, Olson said. “Praise the Lord. But Sarah still has a long way to go.”

In slow, halting speech and with great effort, McGuire can pronounce dystonia, gait disorder, paraplegia and Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome – the medical terms used by Mayo Clinic staff that describe her physical and mental condition.

“The diagnosis was hard to accept … I was awestruck,” McGuire said. “But I’m hopeful the physical therapy will help me get part of my strength back.”

Donations to help McGuire may be made to Great Western Bank, 11 N. First Ave. Marshalltown, 50158. Make checks payable to “Mayo Clinic account.”