CHICAGO RIDGE, Ill. (WGN) — The family of a Chicago Ridge teen battling a rare blood disease is in agony months after his ‘Make-A-Wish’ dream came true.
Last July, WGN News spoke with 18-year-old Jacob Watson, who wished to restore his grandfather’s pickup truck. The Make-A-Wish Foundation helped fulfill Jacob’s wish, much to his surprise.
“I definitely did not expect any of this to happen,” Watson said, adding his thanks to family and friends.
On Sunday, however, someone stole that dream.
Jacob and his family hope whoever is responsible understands that the pickup truck holds sentimental value.
“I just feel like he’s been through so much,” mother Jamie Watson said. “He needs a break, you know?”
Long before he was even old enough to drive, Jacob Watson and his grandfather loved trucks. After his grandfather passed away in 2015, he left his old Ford to his grandson.
Then Jacob started having headaches. Doctors diagnosed him with a rare blood disease. Brain surgery and grueling chemotherapy would soon follow.
“He was sick, he was scared, and this is what made him feel good – to get this wish,” Jamie Watson said.
To lift his spirits, the Make-A-Wish Foundation worked tirelessly to transform his grandfather’s old pickup truck exactly how Jacob wanted it, taking nearly two years to finish during the pandemic.
“I used my one wish that I had on it,” Jacob Watson said.
The truck, only covered with liability insurance, was stolen from the parking lot at Wintrust Sports Arena in Bedford Park during a volleyball game.
“To some people, vehicles are just pieces of metal and stuff but to me, it’s more than metal,” Jacob Watson said. “It’s a part of me. It’s part of my family.”
Surveillance video shows someone in a gray minivan with tinted windows pull up. Someone then exits, does something to the bottom of Watson’s truck, hops inside, and drives off.
“I don’t even care what happens to them, I just want my stuff back,” Jacob said. “Leave it on the side of the road somewhere, let someone find it, that’s all.”
Bedford Park police say they are investigating.
“I don’t even know how to help him?” Jacob’s mother said. “I want to help him and I hate that he’s crying and he hurts.”