When Paralympic hopeful Ranjit Steiner awoke on his birthday and went down to his car outside his San Francisco apartment, the last thing he expected to find was that his specialized prosthetic leg had been stolen by thieves, among other valuables.
While at Gunn High School, Steiner won the honor of Athlete of the Year many times, but then lost his leg from above the knee due to bone cancer.
Despite being an amputee, Steiner was determined to pursue his interests as an athlete and, when he received a $30,000 sprinter‘s prosthesis, he had a new lease on life and was able to run again.
However, when Steiner awoke on a bright and sunny Tuesday morning and jumped into his car on his way to work, he saw that the passenger window had been smashed. “Anything of value was gone. I thought, ‘I hope my leg’s here,’ and I started looking under the seats,” he said.
The fact that Tuesday was his birthday just added insult to injury.
The limb, which enables him to sprint 100- and 200-meter races, and even to perform the long jump, is of no use to anyone as it was specially fitted for his leg.
Sadly, without the leg, Steiner can’t practice for the upcoming Paralympics. “If you can imagine, this is like an injury. Without that leg, I can’t do high-level training… If someone stole my walking leg, I’d say, ‘Whatever,’ ” he said.
For now, Steiner is banking on the thieves returning his leg to him, as he said, “People have had their legs stolen and six blocks away, someone finds the leg thrown in the bushes.”
In any event, also for now, a GoFundMe site has been set up for Ranjit.