Paralympian robbed of years of memories
By Emily Braun | firstname.lastname@example.org
URBANA — A Paralympian turned a devastating incident into a call to action.
27-year old Megan Blunk was robbed of several valuable possessions. She’s at least one of several victims whose homes were hit by a few juveniles.
Blunk recently took home a gold medal in wheelchair basketball. That medal was one of the few items she didn’t lose when she was robbed, but she says what happened to her was meant to be.
Eight years go, Blunk was in a motorcycle accident which paralyzed her from the waist down. As she fought depression, she took to journaling.
“I had bought a hard drive and put all of my writings onto it so that I would always have them and they’d be in a safe place, at least I thought.”
Then, tragedy struck again just a few weeks after she got back from one of the most exciting times of her life.
“They stole, literally, all of my stuff! They took my backpack, my USA backpack I got at the Paralympics, which had my old computer in it, my hard drive.”
She didn’t think she would get any of it back.
“I felt really, like, defeated.”
She thought she’s never see those years of writings again; writings she would use to help others going through tough times, until police called and said they found it among a lot of other stolen property. But, she can’t get it yet.
“I understand. They need to have the evidence in court.”
A 14-year old was charged with the burglary. She says, in a way, she can relate to what she thinks that teen is going through.
“I wasn’t exactly on the right track. I’m not saying I was doing bad things, but I wasn’t being good to myself and making the best of my life before the accident happened.”
She thinks the person or people who did this are holding themselves back from doing good for themselves; just like she says she did before she lost full use of her legs and just like she says she’s been doing since before her things were stolen.
“It reminds me just of my accident, like when my accident happened and everything was taken away from me and it was like, I was always holding back.”
It’s a mistake she says she’ll never make again. She’s been working hard to post the writings she does have. Once she gets her hard drive back, she says nothing will stop her form finally gathering the courage to publish her journal.
Blunk is working on a Master’s in social work. She says she hopes to use her education, experiences and journal entries as a way of helping others going through tough times.
Four juveniles were arrested in connection with a string of burglaries which started in July.
Three were charged.
A 14-year old was charged with two counts of residential burglary and three counts of theft.
A 16-year old and 17-year old were each charged with one count of residential burglary, one count of criminal trespass to a residence and one count of possession of a firearm.
Original: 10:20 pm, 10/18/16, Tuesday
URBANA — A Paralympian recently got back from one of the most exciting times of her life, only to be devastated Monday night. Police say someone broke into Megan Blunk’s home.
She just competed in Rio last month. Blunk says almost everything of value to her was taken including her Paralympian ring, but her boyfriend says the most priceless thing stolen was her computer’s hard drive.
“It’s really important to her about helping other people, that’s like the one thing she cares about. And this hard drive has everything that she’s ever been through, every diary that she’s ever written for six years, that she was going to fall back on from her experiences, so that she could help others,” said Marshall Pinto.
Police don’t have a suspect, but a neighbor caught a glimpse of the person who did it. They’re hoping that helps.