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Thieves steal from couple in Madison for organ transplant

Published On: Mar 27 2013 10:12:25 PM CDT   Updated On: Mar 28 2013 07:25:22 AM CDT
MADISON, Wis. -

Roger and Debbie Egleston are far from home, waiting to get an organ transplant, when someone took something from them, instead.

"No one likes to be lied to and no likes a thief. We just can't believe it happened to us," said Roger.

"We've been through a lot," said Debbie, reminiscing on their upcoming 23rd wedding anniversary.

"I need a lung so I can continue my life," said Roger. "If I don't get a lung, this disease will get me."

The Oklahoma couple was airlifted to Madison months ago and is left to wait for the organ that will keep Roger alive. A round of chemo couldn't keep his 1997 leukemia diagnosis from coming back. A bone marrow transplant worked and the cancer was removed, but his lungs continue to be attacked by a stem cell donor's immune system, leaving a lung transplant as his only option.

Roger is always on oxygen and the two are also on a budget. So, the couple said what happened March 2 sent them spiraling even deeper.

"It was that fast, just boom," described Debbie.

Madison police said two thieves stole Debbie's wallet from her purse in the cart as she was shopping at a Goodwill shopping in Madison.

The thieves charged thousands of dollars to a credit card, and, a month later, they still haven't been caught.

"We're not asking for monetary compensation. We're not asking for mercy. We're asking for someone to step up and ID these folks so they can be arrested," said Roger. "We just can't believe it happened to us, certainly not under these circumstances."

Police said the thieves stole another Goodwill shopper's wallet that same March day, spending about $2,000 at a nearby Target.

People can call in anonymous tips to 608-266-6014 and there's a cash reward if people have information that leads to an arrest.

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