DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Dayton Police are investigating after someone stole a bike with sentimental value.
“It’s a bike. It’s an old bike, but it’s just incredibly meaningful to us,” admits Susan Klenk.
The bike previously belonged to Susan’s son Michael who battled Cystic Fibrosis.
“He fought really hard–played football, baseball, basketball. We’re a very active family,” describes Susan. “We knew that keeping him healthy meant getting out and doing stuff.”
Part of that was biking. The two bought the bike as part of Michael’s rehab after his first lung transplant.
“He only got to ride a few times out there because the transplant– there was damage to the lungs,” says Susan.
Michael died in 2008 awaiting a second lung transplant. After his death, Susan started riding the bike, taking with her a piece of Michael every day.
“Good days and bad days it gets me through,” says Susan.
Susan rides her bike to work about every day at Dayton Children’s and keeps it locked in the parking garage. Minutes before she was supposed to get off work Friday, someone stole her bike.
“It was gone. And I just about– I was shocked because it was locked up with a halfway decent lock,” says Susan.
Surveillance pictures caught the suspect riding away, taking with him something more meaningful than he’ll ever know. He made off with the set of wheels just one day before Susan and her family were supposed to ride in a CF fundraiser.
“It’s like it’s a chunk of Michael that’s gone now,” describes Susan. “It’s almost like it ripped open the wound again.”
Susan says the picture has been circulating on Facebook and tips have been pouring in.
“I realize a bike is not a high priority but it’s pretty meaningful. So they’re definitely looking into it,” Susan praises Dayton Police.
While she wants the bike back, she says If nothing else, it raises awareness and puts Michael’s story in the spotlight.
“If this is a way for his story to touch more people that never met him, like I said, it’s more than just a bike. It was a fight. It was a life that was a good role model for a lot of people,” says Susan.
If you have any information that could help call Dayton Police at (937) 333-COPS.
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