‘The Wheelchair Was My Legs': Thieves Steal Wheelchair From Fort Worth Mother

“I will not quit, this will not stop me," Ray said

A Fort Worth family is starting over after thieves broke into their new home and stole nearly all of their possessions.

Among the items stolen was a motorized wheelchair that Darla Ray says she needs more than anything else.

“To me the wheelchair was my legs, it’s my means of doing everything." Ray said. "To them, it amounted to a dollar sign."

Ray has dermatomyositis, a rare autoimmune disease that attacks the skin, muscles and vital organs. Her perseverance through the disease to graduate the University of North Texas was the focus of an NBC 5 story in 2015. She is now working to earn a masters degree, according to a GoFundMe established by the family.

Ray, her two adult daughters and newly adopted granddaughter had planned to move into the home this week. The thieves broke in through a side door Sunday night while they were staying somewhere else.

“I will not quit, this will not stop me, if anything we will work harder to start over again,” Ray said.

Ray says she had planned to start a new job next week but may not be able to now that her wheelchair is gone.

"My mom is a pillar of the community and we need your help to get her back on her feet," Whitney Smith, Ray's daughter, wrote online.

Fort Worth Police are investigating the burglary.

ONLINE: A GoFundMe account has been set up for the family.

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