THE family of a Limerick secondary student whose wheelchair was cruelly stolen from outside his front door a week ago have been overwhelmed by the generosity of Limerick people who offered to loan or buy him a replacement.
Sixteen-year-old Shane Dundon, who has cerebral palsy, had been stuck indoors for three days at his home in Thomondgate following the callous theft by a group of up to eight youths.
St Gabriel’s School in Dooradoyle were able to loan Shane a replacement, meaning he only missed two days of school at St Nessan’s.
Following publication of the story on Wednesday last, the Limerick Leader office was inundated with offers of help.
And Shane’s mum Theresa said she also had callers to their home looking to help out, including from a taxi driver who offered money.
“I told him I really appreciated it and that I had got a loan of a chair already; that it was kind of him but I didn’t need any money out of this. I just wanted to tell people what happened. He told me his heart broke when he read the story in the paper. I was nearly in tears when he left. There are just so many good people in Limerick even though there are some bad and Limerick gets such a bad name. It would be nice too for people to know how kind people are,” said Theresa.
The taxi driver was not the only person to try to help. A disabled woman in Southill also offered to loan Shane a wheelchair.
Service users at Enable Ireland in Mungret contacted the Leader on Friday wondering if they could arrange a benefit night for a new wheelchair.
Roger Beck, manager at the Parkway Shopping Centre, said Shane was free to use one of the complimentary wheelchairs his business makes available for disabled shoppers for as long as he needed.
And Solicitor John Devane also pledged to make a financial contribution.
The Dundons will soon take delivery of a custom-made wheelchair from the United States that will hopefully one day help the 16-year-old achieve his dream of representing Ireland at the Paralympics.
“You’d think that with all the attention the Paralympics and the Special Olympics have been getting that people would have a better idea about the issues of people with disabilities and what they can achieve. But I suppose some people just don’t have the cop-on,” said Teresa.
Theresa said she greatly appreciated all offers and said that if people wanted to help the disabled they could make a donation to Enable Ireland.