Jake Watson, who survived a rare blood disease, has a deep connection to his old red van that belonged to his late grandfather, but now he’s advocating for the vehicle’s return after it was stolen.
Watson’s 2002 Ford F250 once belonged to his late grandfather, and he says he has a special connection to the vehicle.
“For some people, vehicles are just pieces of metal – but for me – it was part of me,” he said.
Watson, a Chicago Ridge resident, was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder when he was 8and to note. His only wish was to have his grandfather’s truck restored, and last year the Make-A-Wish Foundation did just that.
“It was my only wish,” Jake said. “The only thing I wanted.”
A local community comes together to make the wishes of a teenager battling a rare blood disease come true. NBC 5’s Lexi Sutter has the story.
Now 18, Jake was at the Wintrust Sports Complex in Bedford Park on Sunday morning around 11am when someone managed to unlock the truck and get him to drive away. The theft was caught on security cameras.
Bedford Park police are now investigating, leaving Jake and his mother both heartbroken and angry.
“They were determined,” he said. “They got it in less than a minute and it was gone. They got what they wanted – now they’re gone. They can take whatever they want,” he said. “If I get a little, that’s all I care about.”
“There was a Make-A Wish book in the back of the truck that they must have seen,” Jamie Watson said. “He shows pictures of this one rusting when it was my dad’s – and the end, so they know.”
Now the family is working to spread the word on social media. They say the truck was spotted at least once on Cicero and 47and Street, according to tipsters.
Watson says he’s trying to hold on to hope that someone will have a heart and return his precious truck.
A cash reward is offered for information to recover Jake’s truck. The truck has Illinois plate 2677187, and anyone with information is urged to call authorities.
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