Toronto man with stage 4 cancer pleads for return of stolen rollerblades used to get to hospital
A Toronto man with stage 4 cancer is desperate to get the rollerblades he uses to travel to the hospital back after they were stolen from his car.
Joe Soares said he last rode his blades to Princess Margaret Hospital Friday morning. When he got home, he said he placed them in the front passenger seat area of his grey van parked outside his west-end home on St. Helen’s Avenue.
Monday morning, when he returned to the van to go back to the hospital for his eighteenth and final radiation treatment, he said the rollerblades were gone.
“Tears came out of my eyes, that’s how I felt,” Soares told CTV News Toronto Tuesday.
Soares’ Bauer roller blades with neon wheels didn’t come cheap, but getting them back isn’t about the money.
“[They give me] freedom, encouragement. Knowing that I’m 64 and I can do it. I show up at the hospital and they look at me like I’m crazy, you what I mean? It’s just a great feeling to have.”
Soares believes the blades were taken between midday Friday and Monday morning, and has filed a police report in the hopes of getting them back.
Toronto police said without any witnesses or video it can be more difficult to recover property. So far, no video has surfaced.
On the left, Soares can be seen in his rollerblades. On the right, he can be seen beside his van. (Soares, Beth Macdonell)
Police said when there is a break and enter officers may investigate further for fingerprints and other evidence to identify a suspect. However, Soare’s vehicle does not appear to have been tampered with.
Soares said it was obvious somebody was in his van. Items were disturbed and he found a coffee from 7-11 inside the cup holder.
Soares doesn’t know his latest prognosis. He was diagnosed one year ago and said doctors initially gave him 15 months to live. He hopes to learn more about his condition after an upcoming CT scan, but says he feels stronger than ever.
“I’m not dying. I’m going anywhere. I got to take care of my grandchildren and make sure they have what I didn’t have when I was a young kid.”
It would mean the world to him to have his rollerblades returned, he said.
“They’re mine. I mean, please give them back to me. That’s all I ask, somehow, someway.”
Since CTV News Toronto reported Soares’ story, hundreds of people have contacted him to give support and offer to buy him a new pair of rollerblades.
Soares said he’s grateful to everyone for their kind offers but simply can’t accept. He asks anyone who would like to help to donate money to Princess Margaret Hospital, the Hospital for Sick Children or another charity.
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