The theft of a skateboard from a Saskatoon bike park over the weekend has robbed a little girl of her independence.
A determined eight-year-old with a big smile and curly hair, Milania Keeler uses a skateboard as a mobility device, as the girl was born without legs. The board gives her a mode of transportation and a sense of freedom.
However, on Saturday afternoon, when Milania and her family were at the Lakewood bike park, they put the board down for just a few minutes at which time it was taken.
"I turned around and it was gone from right behind me," said Milania's mother, Desiree Keeler.
Desiree says her daughter was inspired to use a skateboard after meeting public speaker and advocate Chris Koch, who was born without limbs and also uses a skateboard to get around.
Milania completed a 5K in Edmonton with Koch in 2019, and now they're looking to get the board back as it carries with it a lot of sentimental value.
"It was never about the cost of the board," she said.
Keeler says while they had a wagon to help Milania get home, she said the experience left her upset.
"I think she was more upset that she had to ride in the wagon, because she's eight years old. She doesn't want to be sitting and be treated like a baby," she said. "And that's what we've been working for her whole life, is for her to go do things on her own and to have independence."
Alongside sharing about the missing skateboard on her own Facebook page, public speaker and advocate Koch took to his own Facebook page to try and bring awareness about the missing board. The posts have garnered more than 1,000 shares across Canada.
Keeler is hoping someone out there finds the bright green skateboard and turns it over to the family, saying while Milania might soon outgrow the skateboard, the memories and miles her daughter put on it are still important.
"It would have been nice for her to keep it as a keepsake or mount it on her wall," she said.
While Keeler did not file a police report about the theft, she says anyone with information about the stolen skateboard can reach out to her on Facebook.