An eleven year old Boise girl was heartbroken to discover a thief took off with her bicycle in the north end, but the family says the crime actually ended up bringing the community closer together.
11-year-old Ashlynn is shopping for a new bike. Her old one was stolen this past Tuesday outside the Collister Library.
"When we were inside the library my bike got stolen, " said Ashlynn Neeser.
This stolen bike was not just a way for her to get around, but a way to get better. Ashlynn has Crohn's disease. She spent half of her summer vacation in the hospital last year and biking and exercise helps her stay out of the hospital. Her dad also has the disease. When he heard the bike was stolen, he knew he had to do something.
"[I] drove around the rest of the night looking around the neighborhood but couldn't find anything. Went to the pawn shops called the police. Did all the things your supposed to do," said John Neeser.
He even took to Facebook asking people to keep an eye out for it, but he'd never thought who would read it, and what they would do.
"I sent him a message and I said hey I started this fundraiser and said hey you don't know me and I hope I haven't overstepped my bounds but i just had to do something, " said Melissa Gallegos.
Using gofundme.com, Melissa raised over $1,000 in less than a week. Enough money to get her a new bike, plus a bike lock. Melissa knows just how hard Crohn's disease can be. She also deals with the disease.
"I know how much it can alter someone's life and how you feel like life's kind of passing you by and I just thought I couldn't let this young gal have anymore of her life pass her by without a bicycle," she said.
With her new bike, Ashlynn can once again zoom by Crohn's disease and live life to the fullest. All thanks to the kindness of complete strangers.
"Thank you to everybody who helped pitch in. I'm going to have a really fun time riding this bike around town," she said.
Ashlynn's dad says he wants to sign his daughter up with the Boise Braves Mountain bike team.