8-year-old competitive fisherman with autism gets new equipment after rods were stolen

Monday, October 5, 2020
9-year-old with autism gets new gear after rods were stolen
Tristan used competitive fishing to escape until someone stole his rods. Now, he's able to start fresh.

WILLIS, Texas (KTRK) -- A fishing hobby for one boy in Willis is growing into something much bigger following a theft from his family's home.

Tristan Matney, 8, has autism and his family said competitive fishing is something that allows him to have a calm escape.

The boy's mom, Taylor Matney, said they left Tristan's rods on their front porch to dry last week. When he went to check on them, the rods had been stolen overnight on Wednesday.

"It means everything to him," she said.

Tristan's mom took to Facebook to make a plea for the thief to return the rods, and even offered a $300 reward.

However, what the family got in return was much greater.

Taylor's post reached hundreds of users and before she knew it, there was outpour of support coming from all over the community.

Tristan's story reached several organizations and companies. Now, he's a sponsored fisherman and has everything he needs, including new customized rods.

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She's loves to stand outside and wave at the workers, according to her mom, and has since become friends with the employees working the route.

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