LUBBOCK, Texas — The family of a Lubbock man with a rare medical condition is asking for the community’s help recovering a custom-built manual wheelchair that was stolen Saturday.
The wheelchair belongs to Tristan Montoya, 22, who was diagnosed with Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (HSP) when he was 17. According to the National Institutes of Health, the disease is characterized by progressive weakness and stiffness of the legs. There are no treatments for HSP.
His mother, Becky Garcia said Montoya still tries to use his legs to get around, but requires the use of a walking stick or cane. She said he needs his wheelchair for when he’s out and about and for long distances.
Garcia said they spent over a year raising the funds in order to buy the wheelchair and that they only had the custom wheelchair for two months before it was stolen.
“Imagine being stuck in your home and not being able to go anywhere because you don’t have the mobility,” Garcia said.
She said her son was building strength with the chair and that it was a great motivator.
“I don’t think they realize what they took from him,” Garcia said. “They took the chair but they won’t keep him down.”
She asked that whoever currently has the chair to return it.
“We won’t ask any questions,” she said. “We just want the chair back.”
The family has started a GoFundMe in order to pay for a new chair. You can find it here.
Watch KAMC tonight at 6 for the full story.