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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