A family in South Philadelphia received a devastating blow when they discovered the wheelchair ramps outside of their house had been stolen.
Tina and Joe Dolan have had the ramps outside their home for five years. Their son, Domenic, is 15 years old and living with cerebral palsy. He needs the ramps to get in and out of the family home.
“It’s very important because that’s our only means of getting Domenic in and out of the house. Without the ramp, we can’t get him out,” Tina told CBS3 Philadelphia. She also stressed that time outside of the house is important for Domenic. “It’s important for my son to get him on the school bus, to get him outside to play, go to the park, anything.”
For now, Domenic’s ability to be outside is confined to the top step of his stoop. His parents are unable to get him down the stairs themselves. “Long ago I was able to put him on my back, I can’t do it no more,” Tina explained.
The family is understandably upset and angered by the crime. “Devastated, shocked. Who would do something like that? You knew somebody who was disabled had to use it, it’s not just a ramp for somebody to play with,” Tina said. She believes that someone may have stolen the ramps to scrap the aluminum for money. They have filed a police report, but no progress has been made yet.
The Dolans have set up a GoFundMe page to replace the ramps. In the meantime, Domenic is keeping his spirits up. “Even when he’s upset, he never complains,” Tina noted. “He’s my angel; this is my hero over here.”
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