29-year-old Luis Garza has lived one of the most difficult lives one could imagine. He has cerebral palsy, is both blind and death, and has the mental abilities of an 8-month-old. He takes more than a dozen medications every day.
He has required constant care since his birth, a task primarily taken on by his parents. They’ve been reliant on a 2000 Dodge Caravan, a vehicle that is big enough to transport Luis and his wheelchair and breathing machines.
But last week, someone stole the van that Luis and his mother Cynthia depend on. “I’m trying to be a strong person but sometimes it’s hard because I go, “Why people?’” Cynthia said.
Cynthia called WGN last Monday to bring attention to the theft, in hopes that the thief would have a change of heart and return the van. Instead, she got an even better offer.
Frank Mancari is an auto dealer in Oak Lawn (4630 95th Street). When he heard the story, he felt the right thing to do was to donate a van from his dealership.
“I grew up as a very, very poor child,” Mancari said. He also has a sister with special needs. “I understand what misfortune is. That’s why I really felt bad when they told me. The minute they informed me, I was more than happy to do it.”
The donated van has also been modified and equipped specifically to fit Luis’s needs.
The family had originally started a GoFundMe page to help pay for a new van. The money raised there will now be contributed to insurance, gas, and other financial needs.
For Cynthia, this is nothing short of a Christmas miracle.”I’m feeling thankful,” she said through tears. “There are good people out there.”
“I will never forget this Christmas,” she said. “There’s no other words but to say thank you, thank you so much.”