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June 17, 2019

Thieves steal wheelchair ramps from Philly teen with cerebral palsy; GoFundMe launched

Without the ramps, wheelchair-bound Domenic Dolan has no easy access to the outside world

Health Stories Cerebral Palsy
domenic dolan cerebral palsy Photo courtesy/GoFundMe

The fundraiser was launched on June 15, just two days after the ramps were stolen from the South Philly home in broad daylight.

Have you ever contemplated how difficult life would be if you were bound to a wheelchair — especially trying to navigate a world that isn’t particularly built to accommodate your needs?

Domenic Dolan, a 15-year-old boy from South Philadelphia, is wheelchair-bound due to cerebral palsy. He enjoys getting out of the house to explore the neighborhood when he’s not at school or participating in summer break activities.

But on Thursday, June 13, Domenic’s portable handicap ramps — the only way he can enter or exit his home — were taken by thieves.

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“Without ... ramps Domenic has no easy access to the outside world,” reads the GoFundMe page launched by the Dolan family to raise money for Domenic to get replacement ramps.

It is hoped that a new set of ramps will be electronically-equipped to allow Domenic to enter and exit his home without any assistance. This heavier-duty ramp would likely prevent similar future thefts.

The GoFundMe page is striving to raise $22,000 — the total amount the family was quoted by a contractor for the installation of the electronic ramp. In just two days, $6,835 was raised by 172 individuals.

Cerebral palsy is marked by a person’s ability to move or maintain balance and posture, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is caused by abnormal brain development or damage to the developing brain which, in turn, impacts that person’s ability to control their muscles.

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