FORT WORTH, Texas — A former Fort Worth paramedic, who is also a double amputee and para-athlete, is out around $10,000 after discovering two of his racing cycles were stolen when he returned from an amputee conference.
The theft may now keep 52-year-old David Norcott from competing in a race he signed up for that is scheduled for later this month.
"It is evil, someone took something from me," Norcott said. "Choice was taken away from me...and I feel violated."
In September of 1998, Norcott was involved in a fiery car wreck that led to both of his legs being amputated.
But Norcott didn't let his circumstances define him.
In 2013, he began walking in 5K and 10K races. He said it all started with a co-worker encouraging him to participate in a race that everyone in the office signed up for.
"He told me that he just wanted me to be included," Norcott said. "Those were some of the most powerful words I had heard in a long time. I was important enough to be included. I belonged to something."
Norcott has since been in over 60 road races, including three half-marathons.
"It was so overwhelming to earn something so earnest," Norcott said. "It was so much joy, elation, and victory. I felt good about myself, and I felt good about what I did."
Norcott recently started cycling. He has two fitted specifically for him. One is a wheelchair racing tri-cycle and the other is a handcycle.
He's competed in two races so far and was planning to compete in the Hotter'N Hell Hundred (100k) in Wichita Falls at the end of this month.
But on Wednesday, he noticed that his cycles were stolen from his garage. A few days earlier, Norcott returned from an amputee conference in San Antonio.
Both cycles are worth around $10k combined. Norcott said that some electronics and a set of golf clubs were stolen too.
But this is what hurts his spirit the most, he can't train or possibly compete in the Wichita Falls race.
"I feel denied the privilege to be able to train," Norcott said.
However, Norcott's friends are now raising money on Facebook to try and replace his stolen wheels.
Around $2,000 has been raised so far and the fundraiser is growing.
It's not a lot right now, but Norcott said he's been overwhelmed with the generosity.
"Apparently, I've touched a lot of lives," Norcott said with a broken voice. "Very much, it's humbling and I'm grateful."
Norcott said he'll find a way to ride again, to overcome.
"I've been comfortable with being uncomfortable," Norcott said. "It's just another hurdle."
If you'd like to donate to the Facebook fundraiser go here.