Update, Sept. 25, 9 p.m.: About 75 friends and supporters showed up to search the area around Albertsons Stadium at Boise State University, where Nathan Ogden’s wheelchair was stolen during Friday’s game.
“I don’t what to be the one getting all the attention on me, but that’s not always our choice,” Ogden told the group. “So, thank you for taking the time out of your life to help make a difference in mine.”
They combed the area along the river, dumpsters a nearby businesses and neighborhood streets. The search turned up nothing.
“It was a last ditch effort,” Ogden says. “I knew it was a long shot, but I’m glad we gave it a try.”
Original story: A Meridian man’s Facebook Live video caught the attention of thousands this weekend when, streaming live from Albertsons Stadium, he explained that his custom wheelchair had been stolen during Friday night’s Boise State football game against Virginia.
As of Monday, the wheelchair — a Quickie-brand titanium chair with custom wheels — had not been returned. But Nathan Ogden hasn’t given up hope. Instead, he’s organized a search party.
At 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Ogden hopes to have a crowd of searchers on the south side of Albertsons Stadium by the ticket box office to try to track down the chair. Ogden announced the search in another Facebook Live video, explaining that the search party will look along the Boise River and Greenbelt, in dumpsters and bushes and anywhere else that the thief or thieves may have stashed the chair.
He said he and his family have been blown away by the support they’ve received from Boise Police Department, Boise State University and the community.
“That’s one of the reasons we live in Boise,” he said. “Because of the awesome community that it is. Well, except for the fact that someone stole my wheelchair.”
Ogden and his wife left the $4,000 wheelchair at the base of the stands during Friday’s game. When they went to retrieve the chair at halftime, it was gone.
“It’s not just your legs, it’s your independence,” Ogden told KIVI-TV Saturday. “That allows me to move, it allows me to choose to go right or go left. It allows me to go down and tuck my girls into bed, it allows me to provide for my family.”
A GoFundMe was started to raise funds to replace Ogden’s wheelchair in the event that it isn’t found.