Oak Lawn car dealer helps family with special needs son after van theft

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CHICAGO — Cynthia Garza says she believes in miracles. This past week, somebody stole the North Side resident's van.

It isn't just any family van—it's a 2000 Dodge Caravan. It's a little old—but dependable—for Cynthia and her husband to transport their son, Luis, in his wheelchair with his breathing and suction machines inside.

Luis has cerebral palsy, and he's blind, deaf and has the mental ability of an 8-month-old. He takes more than a dozen medications a day, and he requires constant care since his birth 29 years ago.

Desperate, Cynthia called WGN Monday to bring attention to her situation with hope that someone would know something about the van or the actual thief would return it.

During this holiday season, Cynthia's good Samaritan has arrived. His name is Frank Mancari, an auto dealer from Oak Lawn with a huge heart to undo what some grinch has done.

"I grew up as a very, very poor child," says Mancari. "I understand what misfortune is. That's why I really felt bad when they told me. The minute they informed me, I was very, very happy to do it."

Mancari is replacing the stolen van, and he added a few extras specifically for Luis's needs.

Cynthia says she will always be grateful.

"I will never forget this Christmas," she said.


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