Photo: Teresa Short/Getty Images
Photo: Teresa Short/Getty Images

Terminally ill man spends final days helping children in need

Two months ago, Bob Charland of Chicopee, Massachusetts, was given a terminal diagnosis. He has a neuro-degenerative brain disease.

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“If it’s just my time, why not do it? It’s making these kids happy, it’s promoting something positive in their life, so I’m going to keep doing it,” Charland, 44, told WWLP.

Charland spends his free time refurbishing old bikes for children in need.He’s been doing so since 2012, before his diagnosis.

Charland donates the bikes to children through Springfield Public Schools and local churches, WFXT reported

“It gives me a real sense of purpose,” Charland told WWLP. “The feeling I get after I get done with a bike and give it to kid, or I get a note back, it’s well worth the time. I’m going to keep doing this as long as I physically can.”

On Easter Sunday, Charland dropped off more than a dozen refurbished bikes to children in need.

“It’s awesome. I was almost going to cry because we got these new bikes, because our bikes got stolen from here,” said a girl who received one of the bikes, identified only as Hannah.

Charland got some help from his friend, Anouson Souvannasane, who works for the Chicopee Police department.

“I’ve been working in this area for years now. It’s the first area that came to mind. We need more people to step up. He’s setting the bar for those who aren’t sick to do something for the kids,” said Souvannasane.

Find out how you can donate to Charland’s mission at WWLP.

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