Donation rekindles Olympic ambition

PABLO FERNANDEZ -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 12:15 PM ET

Giving a disabled man a second chance at being an Olympian after that dream was iced by one heartless criminal act has now become a community effort, said Janice Nastiuk.

The leg braces her son Dean depended on to play floor hockey were stolen during a car prowling earlier this month.

And despite the fact they are of no use to anyone else, they were never returned.

But good Samaritans will make that wrong right when they present the 34-year-old with new $3,000 braces at Talisman Centre tomorrow.

"It turned out to be a collaborative effort, which is really special," said Janice.

Dean suffered brain and leg injuries in a motorcycle accident 12 years ago and although he can now walk on his own, he requires the braces to play sports.

Dean hoped to compete in the Canadian Special Olympics, which will be held in Manitoba in the new year, but had his hopes dashed when thieves made away with his braces on Nov. 7.

But support poured in after his story was featured in the Sun.

Superior Paint and Body paid to replace the braces, Lindsay Park Brace and Orthotic sized Dean and will make all necessary adjustments when he receives the items, said Dean, who still hopes to make his dream of becoming a special Olympian a reality.

"I'm about to get my legs back," said Dean.

"As soon as I get them, I'll be ready to go."


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