A man with Down syndrome had his 3-wheel bike stolen. Firefighters stepped up to replace it.

Posted at 8:00 AM, Feb 19, 2020

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Firefighters in Virginia Beach took action for a man with Down syndrome who had his bike stolen.

Travis Thereault loves his three-wheel bike and rides it around the Oceanfront, especially during the summer.

His mother, Martha Thereault, said the bike was designed specifically for him.

"People with Down syndrome often have balance issues," Martha Thereault said.

Over the weekend, Martha Thereault received some upsetting news.

"Somebody had cut the lock and stolen the bike, and the bike was gone," she said. "All that was left was the cut lock."

Martha Thereault took to social media, hoping someone might find it or have information about where it may be.

Word got around to a group of firefighters, who took action and created a GoFundMe campaign to get Travis Thereault a new bike.

Travis knows many of the firefighters because he has worked at the Kroger on Shore Drive for almost 10 years.

He's a popular guy throughout the City of Virginia Beach. His mom said he recently won an award from the Virginia Beach Mayor's Committee for Persons with Disabilities.

People wanted to help him when they learned about his stolen bike.

"He makes peoples' lives brighter," Martha Thereault said.

Travis didn't let his stolen bike get him down.

"I don't sweat the small stuff. I let it roll off my back," Travis Thereault said. "It's easy, natural."

He said his motto is to keep an open heart, even to the person who took the bike.

"All the people that have shown their love has just been extraordinary. It really has, and I wish that kind of love for the thief," Martha Thereault said.

Organizers said they hope to get Travis Thereault his new bike soon and said the remainder of the money would go towards the Special Olympics

"Awesome. That's probably the best way to describe it," Travis Thereault said.

He's keeping a positive outlook and an open heart.

"He's been a blessing in my life. I wish I could be more like him," Martha Thereault said.

This story was originally published by Margaret Kavanagh on WTKR in Norfolk, Virginia.