Boy Pleads for Return of Stolen Wheelchair

$5,000 wheelchair taken from in front of home

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The family of a 16-year-old boy with cerebal palsy pleads for the return of his $5,000 wheelchair. (Published Monday, May 23, 2011)

    A Gurnee family is desparate for information that will lead to the recovery of a stolen wheelchair.

    The $5,000 wheelchair belongs to 16-year-old Marlon Tapang, who suffers from cerebal palsy.

    Tapang received the customized wheelchair two years ago, and it's given him an independence he never had before.

    "With the wheelchair he can move on his own. If I leave him in Gurnee Mills, he can go with his friend and wheel himself around. It gives him a lot of freedom," Marlon's mother, Jarka Tapang, said.

    On May 20th, his father left the wheelchair at the edge of the driveway, went inside to grab Marlon in order to help him to the school bus, and when he came back outside, the wheelchair was gone.

    The family can't afford to buy a new wheelchair, and had difficulty convincing the insurance company to help pay for the first one.

    Good Samiritans have donated wheelchairs for Marlon to use, but the chair he had was custom-fitted to his body proportions.

    The wheelchair also helps Marlon participate in multiple activities, including basketball, which he can't play with the walker he's forced to use now.