A local amputee support group is raising money to help buy a new handicap van for one of their own.
This is a story we first reported on earlier this month, after a Huntsville amputee's van with a wheelchair lift was stolen.
According to the police report, the van was stolen on September 30th at Cobblestone Condominiums off of Seven Pine Circle and Sparkman Drive.
WAAY 31 talked with Shawn McKearin, who is in the same amputee support group as the victim. He said after seeing our story on the stolen van, he wanted to help.
McKearin opened up a fundraiser account at Redstone Federal Credit Union, and the money will be used to buy a new handicap-accessible van for the victim.
"When you see somebody that's suffered already, and then suffering even more at the hands of somebody else, somebody needs to step up and help. That's just what we wanted to do," McKearin said.
McKearin has been consulting with amputees for almost 20 years now. It's how he met Thomas Dawson in 2013.
Dawson became a member of the same support group as McKearin after he needed a below-the-knee amputation. More than a week ago, WAAY 31 talked with Dawson after his only source of transportation was stolen.
"In some ways, it's my freedom. There are some handicap transportation services, but they only work during the day," he said.
The 2007 Chrysler minivan with a wheelchair lift was how he got back and forth from hospital visits and rehab.
McKearin wants to help and opened a fundraising account at Redstone Federal Credit Union.
"Replace the vehicle with as good of a vehicle as we can get, and as I said, replace all the handicap equipment he will need inside the vehicle," he said.
McKearin says he has talked with Dawson about wanting to help, but never told him exactly how, until now. He has a message to Dawson.
"Hang on brother. We are there for you," he said.
McKearin says the account will be open to the public for six months before the money is transferred to Dawson.
If you'd like to donate to the account and are a member with Redstone Federal Credit Union, go to your online portal, click on "account," and transfer the amount you'd like to give to Account Number 51017617214.
If you are not a member with Redstone Federal Credit Union, you can go to one of the bank's branches and ask to donate to the Thomas Dawson Donation Account or provide the account number.
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