LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — NCIS Star Pauley Perrette donated a wheelchair to a blind special needs boy, whose wheelchair was stolen in Pomona.
Sammy De Leon, 7, has optic nerve hypoplasia or ONH – a congenital condition in which the optic nerve is underdeveloped, which left him blind.
Joseph De Leon said the custom-made wheelchair helps Sammy, who also has developmental disabilities and is non-verbal, get around and stay safe.
On Saturday, someone broke into Joseph’s car and took his son’s $3,500 wheelchair.
When CBS2/KCAL9 aired Sammy’s story earlier Tuesday, NCIS star Pauley Perrette saw it and contacted us. She said she wanted to get Sammy a new wheelchair.
“I can’t believe it. I’m speechless,” Sammy’s dad said. “It’s definitely a blessing for Sammy. To get that kind of attention and help, it’s a godsend.”
Perrette said she wanted to help because she was tired of seeing injustice.
“It’s every level of wrong. I’m tired of seeing stories on the news. I’m tired of it happening to my friends. Can we just put the word out to stop stealing wheelchairs? I saw that story tonight. I fell in love with that family. I’m determined to help them,” the actress told CBS2’s Rachel Kim.
The star’s friends, Marissa and Mahrynn McLaughlin, have had wheelchairs stolen from them as well. The sisters have a disease that affects their mobility.
They have a message for wheelchair thieves. “We need these. It takes away our independence to not be able to have these. We depend on them so much. So please just don’t do it,” Marissa McLaughlin said.
Perrette wanted the De Leon family to know she was glad to help. “My mantra is Roman’s 12:21, which is don’t be overcome by evil. Overcome evil with good, and this is the way we do it.”
She donated $9,000 to the family, which will cover much more than the wheelchair.