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CBS New York viewers step up to help Ossining 12-year-old whose wheelchair was stolen

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OSSINING, N.Y. — On Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, a suburban family was giving thanks for the kindness of strangers.

Generous people, including many CBS New York viewers, stepped up to help after a young girl’s wheelchair was stolen.

“It really brings me up and makes me feel good,” Aliyah Rivera said.

Aliyah said it was an uplifting development after a crime that really left the 12-year-old from the Westchester County town of Ossining feeling down.

READ MOREThief caught on video stealing 12-year-old girl’s electric wheelchair from outside family’s home in Ossining, N.Y.

On Nov. 16, a man stole the electric wheelchair that helps Aliyah navigate the world while living with spinal cord disease known as acute flaccid myelitis.

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She missed several days of school and time with friends.

“Like, my friends invite me to the mall and stuff and I can’t go because I don’t have a wheelchair in order to get around,” Aliyah said, adding she can walk with crutches, but, “I can’t stand or walk for a specific amount of time.”

After CBS New York interviewed Aliyah on Monday, viewers donated more than $1,500 to help buy her a new wheelchair, and the Christian J. Santo Legacy Foundation of Brooklyn offered to donate one.

“An electrical one, one that can do a lot of things that the other one couldn’t,” Aliyah said.

“We’re just thankful for everything people have done, have reached out, all our family and friends and all these anonymous people who are also helping out with this hard time,” said Shaniah Rivera, Aliyah’s sister.

The man who took the chair also took Aliyah’s backpack, which contained her laptop. The GoFundMe donations will be used to replace those, and help with other supplies to make her life a little easier.

“It shows me that there’s really nice and good and wonderful people in the world that actually care and it really makes me feel good,” Aliyah said.

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Source: CBS

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