Nick gets new wheels, with help from the generous community

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Impressive.

That’s how Nick Hickey said he felt about an outpouring of community generosity that won him a new wheelchair after his was stolen from the front porch of his home in December, leaving the student 18 year old from Assumption College with no way to go to school.

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Security footage showed the thief spent nearly 10 minutes cutting the lock on the child’s chair.

This didn’t sit well with Janet Bowyer, Nick’s teaching assistant at Assumption. She created a Go Fund Me account in hopes of raising enough donations to replace the wheelchair.

The goal was set at $6,500 – enough to cover the costs of a new chair and build a shed to store it. But they have so much more.

Abu Norman Tarek, imam and director of religious affairs for the Muslim Association of Brantford, immediately took action by contacting Islamic Circle of North America Relief Canada, which donated $5,000, the full cost of the new chair. rolling.

Of the money provided for the wheelchair, Tarek said, “A miracle happened in just a few minutes.

And, in a short time, 150 donors raised $11,345 for Nick on Go Fund Me.

“It’s extraordinary,” Bowyer said. “I woke up in the morning and looked at the numbers. It was crazy how fast it was. »

After treatment for brain cancer, Nick was left with mobility issues and learning disabilities, his father Paul Hickey said. He has used a wheelchair and a walker to get around for seven years. Despite his challenges, Nick is “the happiest kid in class, with a great sarcastic sense of humor,” Bowyer said.

The routine at the Colborne Street house where Nick lived was to lock his wheelchair to the porch when he came home from school. When her father returned from his afternoon shift, he unlocked her and carried her to their second-floor apartment.

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Because Nick’s stolen wheelchair had been purchased less than a year earlier, the family was not eligible for a grant from the Ontario government to help defray the cost of a replacement. The high cost of renting a chair was unaffordable for the family.

Nick, who had taken a taxi to school for more than two months because it wasn’t safe for him to get on the bus, last week received his lightweight, high-performance Ferrari red Helio C2 wheelchair , exactly the same as the stolen model, which was never found. Paul said he suspects it may have been sold for scrap.

Donations from Go Fund Me enabled Nick and his father to move from their second-floor apartment to an elevator-accessible unit so the new wheelchair could be safely stored inside.

That’s good, Nick said, because “it was a pain to bring in every time”.

The money also allowed Nick to afford a few luxuries: a new bed, a television, an Xbox and headphones.

“For a somewhat unlucky family, this was the best Christmas present ever,” Bowyer said.

“The Brantford community came together and changed Nick’s life. It’s so much more than we expected. It gives you some faith in humanity.

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