Thieves steal iPads from pediatric cancer patients - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Thieves steal iPads from pediatric cancer patients

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

A pediatric cancer non-profit is dealing with a tale of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” thieves broke into their facility and stole iPads used by patients.

The Austin Hatcher Foundation's downtown location provides resources to young cancer patients and their families at no charge.
Bryan Humphreys with Hatch’s House of Hope said cancer treatments can impact a child's brain development; the organization uses iPads to help monitor changes.       

"We're really looking at providing accommodations and interventions for kids that can be long-lasting and impactful,” Humphreys explained.

The non-profit believes someone broke in overnight through a back door and swiped the iPads off the charger, a real Grinch stealing Christmas away from sick children in need.

"It did become sort of a panic moment where we have people scheduled for tests, for evaluations, ‘how are we going to do that? what are we to do?’" Humphreys explained.

With the resource gone employees stepped up to help .

"We're actually using our own personal technology to provide the service right now,” Humphreys
 said.

8-year-old, Davis Guthrie has a form of leukemia, his mother Ashley Guthrie said his teachers use the iPad testing to develop plans to accommodate his needs at school.

"It established the baseline for where we knew he was cognitively,” Guthrie said.

The theft comes just before the holidays and plans to expand the program.

"It just makes me sad that someone made a poor choice. It just hurts,” Guthrie said.

In a picture her son Davis shares what he wants people to know about cancer, writing that there is more than one just one type.

"He said to me 'that there's so many different things and each child is different just like each adult and everyone who goes through it is a different situation,” Guthrie explained.

It’s a message that reminds Guthrie that whoever stole the iPads may be going through a difficult situation too. In some way, she hopes the theft can bring people together this holiday season.

Hatch's House of Hope is working with their foundation and local authorities. If you have any information or would like to help call the foundation at 423-838-4045.

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