04/17/2014 10:06 EDT | Updated 06/17/2014 05:59 EDT

Stolen sit-ski owner turns online to fundraise replacement

Vancouver resident Matt Thola has launched a a public campaign to get his customized sit-ski replaced, after the $5,000 piece of customized sports equipment was stolen from his truck last month.

Thola, 27, was paralyzed eight years ago in a car crash. Since then he has tried to inspire others with his adventures online, including learning to ski in Whistler two years ago.

But late last month he had to leave is sit-ski in the back of his truck because nobody was around to help him take it inside.

When he went down to check on it, someone had stolen the one thing that allows him to do the sport he loves best — ski.         

He says police have done what they can so far, but his sit-ski hasn't surfaced and he thinks whoever took it is keeping it under wraps. Still Thola just doesn't get why anyone would steal it.

"If someone really wants to learn how to sit-ski they don't have to take it. They just got to ask, I will teach you."

In the meantime Thola has gone to an online fund raising site asking for donations to replace it. And people have responded, donating more than $1,600 so far.

He is certain he will be skiing Whistler next season, but he still wants whoever stole his sit-ski to think about this:

"I am pretty devastated about it, you know. They took my legs away. They took my ski legs away."