Community steps up to help UMKC student whose wheelchair-accessible truck was stolen, destroyed

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — One day after a UMKC student reported his custom-made wheelchair accessible truck stolen, and later destroyed, members in the community are stepping up to help.

Ryan Kempker, says the upgrades to his 2008 4-door GMC Duramax Diesel truck are worth thousands of dollars to equip his wheelchair and allow him to drive.

Thanks to the generosity of the metro community, Kempker is well on his way to obtaining the funds to repair his special truck.

“I saw the article this morning on the FOX4 Facebook page, I noticed nobody had posted the link to a GoFundMe, it seemed like a pretty good story to drum-up support for him, because it is unfortunate to get things stolen, in his case, it`s even worse,” Patrick Mallahan said, leading support efforts.

Mallahan said he was inspired by the story and Wednesday morning he created a GoFundMe account in Kempker’s honor.

The donation site is now pass $4,000, and growing.

LMC Truck, out of Lenexa, Kansas, is also offering to donate and replace broken truck parts for Kempker.

“It’s part of the reason why I love Kansas City. We’re a giant community and always here to help each other if anyone needs it. A lot of times people just need a little bit of a push to say people need help them out if you want to, and naturally you see how much Kansas City loves each other with how quick they donated,” Mallahan said.

While support is mounting throughout the community, students at UMKC are raising concerns about safety, after the truck was stolen from the campus’ Cherry Street Parking Garage, located just above the campus police office.

“It’s a little disconcerting because I didn’t think we had issues with getting cars stolen from this parking garage specifically. It’s kind of a shock, if anything,” said UMKC student, Anna Lee Turner.

Kanas City police and UMKC are both investigating the theft. There is also surveillance video that shows the crime, however, they haven’t released it because it’s part of the investigation.

Kempker said he is thankful and also overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support.

If you would like to donate, click here.

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