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Alex Cabrero Reporting There are things in life we all want, but we just can't have--a fancy car, a huge house, an exotic vacation. All one Taylorsville woman wanted was a better wheelchair.
This is one of Shannon Millets' good days. Lord knows, she has plenty of bad ones.
Shannon Millet, Taylorsville: “It’s hard being handicapped. It’s very hard.”
Doctors told her parents her severe scoliosis, spinal muscular atrophy, and 14-percent muscle mass would lead to her death by the age of two. Now she's 20 and doesn't want anybody feeling sorry for her.
Shannon Millet: “I just tell people, this is all I know. I mean it would be a lot harder if I was able to walk and then couldn’t, but this is all I know.”
Her hi-tech wheelchair gets her around through high school and now college. It's just kind of old-looking. Like most girls her age, Shannon wanted a change starting with her wheelchair.
Shannon Millet: “It’s like my legs, and I mean, I wouldn’t be wearing dorky looking pants.”
That's where Brownie Cyphers comes in.
Brownie Cyphers: “If something needs to be customized I can customize it.”
When Maxim Healthcare called Monarch Harley Davidson in Orem, you could only imagine how Cyphers reacted.
Brownie Cyphers: “I haven’t done a wheelchair before. This is the first.”
But he knows motorcycles so why not try? Rear lights, Harley logos, chrome handlebars, customized foot-rests, and a flame paintjob. All for a young girl who could use more smiles.
Brownie Cyphers: “I mean, somebody in a less fortunate situation needs a little help and a little pick-me-up. Hey, we all need a pick-me-up once in a while.”
And when it was ready, Shannon was really ready.
Shannon Millet: “Oh yeah, that’s what I’m talking about!”
Brownie Cyphers: “This is the stuff that everything is made of. This is true, real stuff.”
Danny Millet, Shannon's Father: “This is something we’ll remember forever.”
Now when she dreams, Shannon says she doesn't need to walk, she has her wheelchair.
Shannon Millet: “I feel so spoiled.”
Every single bolt and screw on the wheelchair was replaced with chrome parts. Monarch Harley Davidson did it all free of charge.