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Yumans repair bike, raise money for car
The Kane family has faced many tribulations recently. Heather Kane's eldest son is paralyzed from the knees down, and her 1988 Toyota Corolla is in its death throws.
Her younger son, 14-year-old Dustin Kane, helps by using his bicycle to run important errands for the family such as picking up medications at the pharmacy and bringing home needed groceries.
“He is my right hand,” Heather said. “My car is not safe, bottom line, and if I need something, he is there. If his brother needs something, he goes and does whatever his brother needs. He doesn't complain.”
Dustin, a freshman at Cibola High School, also uses it to travel back and forth to the campus each school day for class and football practice.
“Between football and school, he is everywhere on that bike,” Heather said.
But on the morning of Sept. 17, Dustin was almost hit by a truck on the way to class while traveling in the bike lane on Avenue C.
He dived off his bike to avoid the collision, and in the fall suffered cuts, bruises and a concussion. His bike was rendered inoperable because the chain snapped.
Worse, he lay on the side of the road unconscious for a few minutes and no motorists passing by stopped to render aid.
“How do you see a child on the side of the road and not stop?” Heather asked incredulously.
His mother filed a police report, but without a license plate number, the Yuma Police Department was powerless to do anything about the incident.
The concussion put Dustin on the sidelines during football practice for the next several weeks, and the loss of his bike meant he had to walk back and forth to school.
Not having his bike was “horrible because my bike is everything,” Dustin said. “I do everything with it.”
Frustrated by the turn of events, Heather wrote a letter to the editor hoping the driver would read about the accident.
“When I wrote the letter, honestly I was mad. I just wanted to put it out there.”
The letter did not go unnoticed. It caught the attention of Richard Morton. He contacted Heather and offered to repair the bike. He spoke with Donnie Bennett, owner of Mr. B's Bicycles, who fixed Dustin's bicycle free of charge.
“They needed help,” Bennett said. “Mr. Morton let us know about it and we wanted to help out, too. The (letter to the editor) in the paper was not quite a tearjerker, but it hit home.”
After the bike was repaired, the Kane family came to pick it up. “I can't thank them enough,” Heather said as her son inspected the bike nearby.
Dustin was grateful to have his bike back in working order. “It makes me feel blessed there are people like that in the community.”
But that wasn't the end of the story. Morton, aware of the extremely shabby condition of the Corolla, vowed to help raise the money to buy Heather a reliable vehicle.
“What we are trying to do is to see if we can gather donations together to help replace the car, because you can't fix that thing,” Morton said. “It is too far gone.”
Morton has set up a charitable donations account at AEA Federal Credit Union. Donations can be made to the account listed under member 87335.
Chris McDaniel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6849.