COURTENAY. B.C. – A friend of a young man with special needs who recently had his bike stolen, has started a GoFundMe page on his behalf.

Michelle Hayes launched the page with a goal of raising $4,000, which will recoup the costs of the taxi-yellow BionX model bike that was customized for the 22-year-old theft victim, Matthew Cadwell.

“I need to do anything I can do to help as this man is so caring, kind and hard working,” Hayes wrote on the GoFundMe page. “I cannot begin to imagine how much stress this has caused him.”

The electric bike was taken from outside the local White Spot, where Matthew works as a dishwasher.

It was locked up but someone broke the padlock, which was later found by a 7-Eleven store.

Matthew has special needs and will never drive, so the bike was the only way he can get around.

“I was shocked,” Matthew told MyComoxValleyNow.com last week. “I was kind of angry because it’s my bike. It’s my transportation from home to work and I was really angry.”

Matthew’s dad Mike said it’s a specialized, customized bike built for his son. Matthew tirelessly saved for the bike and in a moment, all of his savings, and his way of getting around town, was taken from him.

“The money he earned as a dishwasher, he spent it and paid for it (the bike) all on his own,” Mike said.

Meanwhile, if you know the whereabouts of Matthew’s bike, call Comox Valley RCMP at 250-338-1321 or message Mike through Facebook.

Mike said his son is “astonished” at the outpouring of support he has received since the theft occurred.

“He’s just totally amazed about how everybody is reacting about it,” Mike said.