Just a day after Valentina Gennarelli’s purple walker disappeared from the end of her driveway on Wednesday, the Stow fourth-grader received a replacement.

The Nimbo posterior walker, which costs around $400, was donated to the student by Miller’s, an Akron-based healthcare products company.

Gabriella Gennarelli, Valentina’s mother, took to social media on Wednesday for help, posting the missing walker on Facebook. Residents offered an outpouring of support in the comments, with many offering to contribute financially if a fundraiser was held.

Gabriella doesn’t suspect foul play. Instead, she shared in her post, she thinks a scrapper probably passed by and thought the walker was up for grabs because he was unattended.

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The message spread like wildfire, catching Miller’s attention. The company contacted the school with the offer to donate one of the walkers it had on hand to Valentina.

“We actually received the social media post yesterday afternoon and started working on it from two separate angles,” Nicolard said Thursday.

She was texting with a therapist at Valentina’s school, Echo Hills Elementary. At the same time, Gabriella and another school therapist were reaching out to someone inside the Millers’ office.

Nicolard said that at 3 p.m. Wednesday — less than eight hours after Gabriella asked for help on Facebook — Miller had a purple walker to replace the one Valentina had lost. It’s a bit of a fluke that they have one in stock. According to Nicolard, this particular piece of equipment would generally not be as readily available in the company’s inventory.

Lowrie said times like these are a perk of working at Miller.

“Doing it, helping,” he said, “is awesome. That’s one of the reasons I love the job so much, it’s just helping people when they have it. need.”

Nicolard and Lowrie went to school on Thursday to surprise Valentina with the new purple walker. Since her walker disappeared, she had been dependent on her wheelchair.

Valentina Gennarelli, a pupil at Echo Hills Primary School in Stow, walks out on Thursday to receive a walker donated by medical supplier Miller's after an old device she had used at a bus stop went missing.

Dannie Lowrie, Rehab Technician at Miller, and Jessica Nicolard, Akron Rehab Manager at Miller, both said it was wonderful to be able to help Valentina when needed.

She was visibly delighted to be mobile again.

Jessica Lehman, an intervention specialist at Echo Hills who works closely with Valentina, said the fourth-grader is “strong-minded and strong-willed” and enjoys the mobility a walker provides.

Lehman said it fills her with pride to know she lives in a community where something like this is possible.

“It just proves that people are capable of good things,” she said.

Echo Hills director David Ulbrecht said the response from the community was staggering.

“From that beginning as a difficult situation for a family, just to see it snowball in such a positive way, it was really kind of a restoration of faith in the community and the people here,” said Ulbrecht.

The grateful mother echoed the director’s sentiments.

“It’s overwhelming, the support,” Gabriella said. “It’s her whole life, her whole ability to walk. The community has come together to try and give her what she needs to get through life.”

Contact journalist Derek Kreider at [email protected]