SACRAMENTO, Calif. — May 20 Update:
John Kerr is now accepting donations on a GoFundMe campaign organized by his family.
Parking his wheelchair accessible van about a block from his residence in Sacramento Sunday evening, John Kerr said he returned to the same spot the next day to find something missing.
"I was devastated. My van is my life blood," he told ABC10. "It's how I get everywhere ― medical appointments (and) shopping."
Kerr runs a foundation for young adults with muscle dystrophy, a condition he also lives with himself. He said he has to travel frequently for outreach efforts, visiting families and different offices around California. None of that is possible now without his accessible van.
Though he wants his van returned, Kerr said he could empathize with whoever might have stolen it.
"These are hard times for a lot of people and I do understand someone might need to do that to have a place to live," he said. "I would try to help them in a different way. But as far as the van goes, that's something that I need."
The vehicle is a white Ford van with a power lift on the right hand side.
While the van itself is about 20 years old and worth a few thousand dollars according to Kerr, installation of the powerlift was the costliest part of the theft.
"A new wheelchair accessible van is about $75,000," he said. "Society doesn't make it easy for people with disabilities to have ultimate freedoms to live a full life."