Detroit family's special needs van stolen

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The van belonging to a Detroit family in and out of the hospital for surgeries related to their son's Down syndrome was stolen, making getting to a doctor a lot more difficult.

With 17 surgeries stemming from complications associated with Down syndrome, getting 8-year-old James Chidester to the doctor is no easy task. A recent illness of his own has his father, Kirk, in and out of the hospital himself seeking treatment.

The Chidester's van, which was specially outfitted to help James, was stolen when a friend borrowed the vehicle to visit the Secretary of State. The friend was in the building for 40 minutes and returned to discover the van had been stolen.

"I get a text message frantic from him that the van was stolen and missing," Kirk said.

The white 1997 GMC Savannah last seen at the plaza near Van Dyke and 8 Mile Road in Detroit..

"It was equipped enough where it could get him to his appointments," Kirk said.

Three years ago, it was given to Kirk Chidester as a gift from his dad -- a way to make things just a little easier.

"It meant a lot to me. It's just like one of them gold nuggets you like to stick in your pocket and say, 'Oh yeah, this is what my dad did,'" Kirk said.

The van also serves as a landscaping vehicle to help Kirk provide for the family.

Now all he can do is hope it's found and soon. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the police.