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Snow Moon over North Hill by Cindy Schreiner

“A good, honest guy” needs some help


Steven Vanskiver is in an Erie PA hospital fighting a rare infection

By Andrew Harris

You may now know Steve personally, but if you have lived in Wellsville over the last thirty years, you couldn’t have missed him. Steve has raised a family in Wellsville and served a career at Jones Memorial Hospital. You likely recognize him as “the guy on the bike,” Steve is avid bicyclist and rarely missed the chance to bike to work or the store. That all changed recently when Steve was diagnosed with a serious infection in is foot. According to the GoFundMe page established to help:

“On July 4, Steve went to the ER in excruciating pain from what he thought was a bone spur in his foot. It turned out he had a dangerous infection that required immediate surgery. After spending a week in the hospital because of the danger that the infection would spread to his heart, Steve was transferred to a specialty care hospital in Erie, PA. Sadly, the infection continues and Steve’s foot had to be amputated and he will likely lose his leg to below the kneecap. Much of the care and recovery that Steve will need in the coming months is not covered by his insurance. The travel to and from Erie by his wife and family definitely are not covered by insurance.

Steve needs your help. Anyone who knows Steve will tell you that he is first to lend assistance to anyone who needs it.”

Damon Counterman has known Steve and his family for almost twenty years and explains Steve’s story:

“Steve is a Wellsville native and has worked at Jones Memorial for prob 40 years or more. I met him about 20 years ago when I was coaching his daughters volleyball team. He offered to volunteer to help out at practice or games and I got to know him and his wife pretty well as they were always around helping out, him doing any odd job that was needed and his wife became our teams scorekeeper and statistician for close to 15yrs. most of which was unpaid volunteered time, but was very beneficial to our program and me as the coach.

Over the years I was honored to coach all his children(Charity, Arron, Adam, Caleb) on the volleyball court. During this time Steve was always helping others in various ways, maybe by doing some lawn work or mowing or shopping for someone who couldn’t do it on their own. He walked or rode his bike to work every day, stopping to help others on the way maybe helping an elder cross the street or take out the trash or shovel their walks. In our small community we take pride in our history and love it when people give back when they can. Their small deeds add up over time and can have a huge impact too, making our community what it is. This is one of those instances, I could go on and on about what Steve has done for others over the years. He really is a Boy Scout in the truest sense, and I know once he is well he will be back out there helping any way he can.”

Friends and family have held a benefit for Steve and his family but the road ahead is uncertain. Steve will need the support and generosity of the community to get back home and, hopefully back on the bike. Please consider contributing to Steve’s fundraiser, or if you can’t, share his story with others.

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