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Features

Crest Hill man determined to raise money for teen's adaptive van

Lawson Sizemore waves to a vehicle of friends and classmates on Friday, Apr. 17, 2020, during a surprise birthday parade for Sizemore's 17th birthday in Shorewood, Ill.
Lawson Sizemore waves to a vehicle of friends and classmates on Friday, Apr. 17, 2020, during a surprise birthday parade for Sizemore's 17th birthday in Shorewood, Ill.

Jeff Peterson of Crest Hill said he's ensuring a Joliet West High School teen gets the adaptive van he deserves.

Lawson Sizemore, 17, of Shorewood, a Joliet West High School athlete and editor-in-chief of the school’s newspaper, Tiger Tales, had surgery on June 18 to correct his scoliosis, which added an extra three inches to his height.

He not only can't fit into the family's conversation 2001 conversion van, the van itself is unreliable.

The hydraulic lift often malfunctions and the suspension is failing, according to Lawson's Van Campaign GoFundMe page.

"We're trying to raise $80,000," Peterson said.

Peterson feels that should cover the cost of the van at Tyson Motor in Shorewood and "getting the hydraulics done" at MobilityWorks in Plainfield.

Lawson has Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type A, a disorder that affects the peripheral nerves. Peterson has met Lawson at Joliet West football games, he said.

Peterson's son Jeffrey Peterson is a teacher at Joliet West and is helping Jeff Peterson promote the van campaign, Jeff Peterson said.

"When my son told me about it, I said, 'This kid needs a van. I have to do this,'" Jeff Peterson said.

Jeff Peterson is confident he and his friends can raise the money.

"I'm a local guy and I know how generous this community can be," he said.

Jeff Peterson called Lawson "a good guy."

"Every kid over there talks to Lawson," Jeff Peterson said.

To donate, visit gofundme.com/f/lawsonsizemore or donate at Busey Bank, 2801 Black Road in Joliet.

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