Man Pays Forward $2400 Wheelchair

July 18, 2023

In the little community of Number One, nestled between Station Camp Creek Boat Ramp and the Cages Bend Peninsula, there lives a man who believes in the power of passing it on. 

Brian Cook, a retired Electronic Engineer, and his wife Peggy, a retired nurse, were given an electric wheelchair in 2021 by a neighbor who had brought it brand new. They graciously accepted it and planned to use it when Peggy’s mobility challenged mother stayed with them. 

The chair is valued at $2,400—a generous and thoughtful gift. The original owner wanted to see it benefit someone in need.

However, Brian says it was stored in the garage the majority of the time they had it. “It just collected dust,” he recalls. 

One month ago, when the Cooks started purging their possessions, the wheelchair was uncovered and so was the desire to pass on the precious gift. 

Having suffered a stroke in 2016, Brian understood what it meant to be in need. The stroke left him undergoing intensive therapy. 

“The hardest part was having to rely on people. That’s a tough lesson to learn,” he recounts. “All the time God is able to use any situation that he wants to. He delivers us from things, through things, and by things.” 

So after being reminded about the wheelchair, it was natural for Brian to reach out to his friend, Gil Carter, who runs a mission for First Responders. 

Gil didn’t have anyone needing the wheelchair, but he connected Brian with Community Life Ride (CLR) of Hendersonville. CLR is “a volunteer-driven membership program available to mature adults over 60 who no longer drive,” according to their mission statement. They “bridge the transportation gap” for a population group that can easily be forgotten.

Christine Martin, CLR’s Director of Operations, was ecstatic to get Brian’s call. “She thanked me profusely,” says Brian. “And she told me, ‘We’ve got a match—someone needing that wheelchair right now.’” 

CLR picked up the chair and delivered it to their client, James Dowell, who was deeply appreciative of this blessing. 

But James was not the only one who’s better off from this situation. “I think this has probably blessed me more than anyone,” says Brian. “Who knows where this blessing will end.” 

When that wheelchair was first gifted to the Cooks, the paying it forward principle was set in motion. Little did they know it would continue on to give motion to James—to give the ability to move—that is giving freedom, independence, and a renewed sense of self-worth. It is far beyond the $2,400 price tag. This gift is priceless. 

Let’s pass it on, North Nashville. 


Sarah Ricciardi

Published Jul 12, 2023