Disabled teen’s bike-trike found behind local McDonald’s
A bike-trike that served as a disabled Robinson teen’s only means of transportation was found Friday morning behind a dumpster at the McDonald’s restaurant at the Pilot Travel Center on Interstate 35.
The bike-trike, which was a gift, was stolen sometime between 4:30 p.m. and 5:10 p.m. Wednesday from the porch of his family’s home off Surrey Ridge Road in Robinson.
Chandler Hooper, a Midway High School freshman, has neurofibromatosis, a genetic disorder that causes tumors to form on nerve tissue, causing bone deformities that makes it nearly impossible for him to ride a standard bicycle.
His condition has been complicated by chemotherapy, which his mother says caused drop foot a gait abnormality caused by nerve irritation or damage or muscle paralysis.
Chandler has spent months in casts and underwent surgery to fix the drop foot after doctors discovered that one leg was longer than the other by 1.5 inches.
He also has scoliosis.
A friend bought the bike-trike for him in 2017 and for the first time he was able to ride with his brother.
“Riding a bike has always been a challenge,” his mother posted at the time.
“Today he was given a wonderful gift! This is his first time riding a bike-trike! So proud of him! Not only will this be fun but it will also be therapy and he won’t even know!’
News of the theft prompted dozens of area residents to offer to buy a new ride for Chandler.
Ultimately an anonymous donor arranged with The Bear Mountain, a bicycle shop on West Waco Drive, to order another bike-trike.