A Nanaimo man with cerebral palsy who has dedicated his life to helping youth at risk has been given a new mobility scooter to replace one that was stolen.
Patrick Aleck, 31, said his red scooter was stolen Wednesday from outside his one-bedroom apartment on the corner of Bowen Road and Meredith Road in Nanaimo.
His apartment is too small to fit the scooter, so he keeps it outside his bedroom window.
“I’m shocked, I never would have thought this would happen to me but it did,” he said.
Aleck can walk but relies on the scooter to run errands and do grocery shopping.
On Friday, his friend Peter Hudson delivered a new red scooter donated by someone who saw Hudson’s Facebook post about the theft.
“I’m so grateful,” Aleck said. “I’ve just been overwhelmed with gratitude because people are willing to help.”
Aleck is from the Stz’minus First Nation and grew up on Penelakut Island but lives in Nanaimo.
He was born with cerebral palsy and told he would never be able to walk, but through will and perseverance, he was walking by age nine, said his brother Jason Elias.
Aleck works with Indigenous youth, helping them compose traditional songs and running drum circles as a form of healing.
“He’s really had an impact on the community,” Elias said.
Aleck has also helped youth at risk through his volunteer work in the Nanaimo Crisis Society’s suicide-prevention program, his brother said.
The theft has been reported to Nanaimo RCMP.