Paralympic athlete headed to Tokyo after community came together to replace her stolen wheelchair

HOUSTON – Jazmin Ryan is headed to Tokyo in August as a member of team U.S. Paralympic shooting team.

“No words can describe it. The amount of pride and honor I have,” Ryan said.

Ryan will represent the stars and stripes for the second time in eight years.

KPRC 2 first spoke with Ryan, who is paralyzed from the waist down, in March when someone stole her everyday wheelchair from the family’s driveway.

Surveillance video of a white pickup was the only lead for deputies at the Harris County Precinct 4 Constables office but the community came together and set up a GoFundMe that raised $3,805 to help pay for a new chair.

A local restaurant also decided to help.

“And then Niko Niko’s came back and said we’ll cover the difference for whatever it costs to make the most customized chair possible,” Ryan said. “Basically this chair is completely fitted for me.”

A few weeks later the stolen wheelchair was found and returned by a deputy constable and the man in the white pick-up was questioned.

“He confessed, basically he stated it was an accident that he thought it was scrap metal,” Ryan said.

She and her family decided not to press charges because they said they believe in second chances. Ryan does however want to give back to the community that was there for her when she needed them the most.

“So what I’m going to do is take one of my chairs that I had previously to that chair and sup it up, kind of change the wheels and tires and donate it back into the community,” Ryan said.

Ryan is still trying to work out the details on how the donation process will work but said it’ll happen when she gets back from Tokyo in September.

About the Author:

Reporter, proud Houstonian, U of H alumni, and lover of all the hometown sport teams.