Already coping with the daily challenges of caring for an autistic child, Shannon Koreman never thought she’d have to explain to her 13-year-old foster son that he’d been the victim of a thoughtless crime, and that she has no idea why.
On Thursday night, Koreman discovered that her son’s special-needs bicycle had been stolen out of her backyard, though she and her husband covered the bike with a tarp and jammed it between a fence and vehicle to make sure it would never be the target of thieves.
“I have no idea why someone would do this. Maybe they needed it, or didn’t even know it was a special-needs bike,” she said.
Since then, Koreman has been on a marathon search throughout the Westmount area for her son’s bike, as the theft has taken away a large part of his independence.
“It really allowed him to be one of the guys out there,” Koreman said. “It allowed us to go on bike rides, which is one of the only activities we can do as a family.”
Koreman said the family rides every weekend and that since her son’s bike has been stolen, she’s been bearing the emotional brunt of the theft, as well as searching for it tirelessly.
“Over the years, I’ve taken over the emotions that would he not have been autistic, he would have felt,” she said. “Because he doesn’t really feel things the same way, I found that I’m feeling them for him. I just walked in the rain crying, looking for his bike.”
The bike was donated to the family five years ago by the Children’s Ability Fund. Koreman calculated that it would take the family about one year to save the $1,000 that would be needed to replace it.
“Like anybody else, it’s really hard to save money,” she said.
Since hearing about the incident in the media, workers from Midwest Constructors have raised the money among employees to replace the bike.
Though the money has been donated, Koreman says that she’ll continue to search for the bike, and if it’s found, she’ll donate the money back to charity.
“I’m just so angry at all the bad people out there, but I know that there are 20 good guys right there.”