Kevin E. Schmidt/QUAD-CITY TIMES Sean Mizlo and his fiancee, Lynn Washburn, travel along a Davenport street on the rebuilt motorcycle Mizlo was riding when he was struck by an uninsured hit-and-run driver July 15, 2005, resulting in the amputation of his left leg.

He was felled by an uninsured hit-and-run driver and questioned his ability to survive as an amputee, but Sean Mizlo is back in the saddle of his beloved motorcycle.

Mizlo, 36, was riding a brand-new Harley-Davidson on July 15, 2005, when he was struck and seriously injured by an automobile driven by a Davenport woman who had no insurance. Doctors had to amputate his left leg above the knee, and he was left with large medical expenses.

Friends have rallied before to help the personable Mizlo and will do so again on the one-year anniversary of the incident. The Ride with Mizlo Poker Run is July 15, with registration from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Leisure Time Billiards, 845 Avenue of the Cities, East Moline.

Unlike last year, Mizlo will participate in his namesake event. Last year, a similar fundraiser to help with his medical expenses was held just a month after the accident occurred.

His insurance has helped pay some costs, but it does not cover everything. It also considers a computerized prosthetic knee a “luxury.” The United Township High School educator and wrestling coach would like one because he believes it will help him get closer to his former mobility.

Balance is a problem with the prosthesis and it is especially challenging to negotiate uneven ground, the former standout athlete at United Township said. “I’ve got a great knee now — one of the best — but it’s not computerized,” he said, adding that a new knee also would help when he plays with his children, 10-year-old Brandon and Kayla, 8.

“I had always wanted a Harley,” he said, so he finally bought a 2005 Super Glide model June 20, 2005. He was headed out to meet some friends on the fateful mid-July evening when an oncoming car drifted over the centerline and hit him. The driver fled the scene, but she turned herself in to authorities four days later. Patricia Ann Collins, then 20, was charged with failure to report an accident involving injuries.

Mizlo keeps a positive outlook, but he also realizes his life was altered forever by the collision. Getting back on a Harley before a year elapsed became his personal goal.

Mizlo’s story caught the attention of Kevin Promenschenkel, owner of Poopy’s, a Harley-Davidson parts and accessories center in Savanna, Ill., about 50 miles north of the Quad-Cities. “That poor guy went through a hell of an accident, and there were all those insurance problems. I just knew we could help,” Promenschenkel said.

The business received the heavily damaged motorcycle early this year. “He did quite a number on it,” Promenschenkel said, noting that his staff removed the motor, dissembled and rebuilt it. Poopy’s also added a “trike kit,” which gives the vehicle three wheels on the back end and is used for riders who have stability issues. Also added was a Pingel’s shift kit, which allows Mizlo to change gears simply by pushing a button on the handlebars.

It took about three days to do the work, but Poopy’s had to wait quite some time for the parts. The motorcycle was turned over to a very satisfied owner a few weeks ago.

While he wishes he still had two good legs, Mizlo shares a new world with fellow amputees and people who use wheelchairs. He is able to get good seats when he attends Chicago Cubs baseball games and had his wish granted to meet Ron Santo, who works on the team’s radio broadcasts.

Mizlo and his fiancee, Lynn Washburn, went to a Cubs game this year and parked in handicapped-accessible spaces near Santo, a double-amputee who starred for the Cubs in the 1960s and early ‘70s.

Stops: Jammer’s, Joslin, Ill.; Charlie’s Tap, Colona, Ill.; Hollar’s Bar & Grill, Moline; Knoxville Tap, Milan, Ill., and Stooges Saloon, Orion, Ill., with food and entertainment at Stooges.

Cost: $15 per card, $5 per extra card. Cash prizes will be awarded for the three best hands. Also, there will be a raffle featuring prizes such as a Harley-Davidson letterman’s jacket.

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