Despite setback, Dubuque man looking for 'lift' nearing goal - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Despite setback, Dubuque man looking for 'lift' nearing goal

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Jake Hesselman can't wait to have his own car, his own independence.

In that regard, he's like many others.  But in so many other ways, this 22-year-old Dubuque native is very unique.

His family calls him positive, driven, determined...and also, 'handi-capable'.  Jake was born with severe limb deficiency, meaning he has no legs, and one arm that only grew to the elbow, and the other one even shorter.

He's on a quest for independence, which would mean a specially outfitted van that runs around $100,000.  KWWL first told you about his family's effort to raise that money through crowdsourcing about two months ago.

To date, he's raised about $90,000.

"It's unbelievable to know what the support is behind me throughout the community, but also throughout the United States. It's just unbelievable and there's no words to describe it," Hesselman said.

But it hasn't been without it's setbacks.

A donation jar set out at Beecher's Ice Cream in Dubuque was stolen last month, $300 gone.

Dubuque Police identified and have now arrested the man they say allegedly stole that donation jar.

27-year-old Richard Bell now faces fourth degree theft charges.

But Hesselman says he's not going to hold a grudge over it.

"I'm glad the police did catch him. If I did see him, I would accept his apology. We're all humans, we all make mistakes. I just hope he'll learn from this mistake, from this situation," he said.

Jake says they've started to get bids for the work needed for the van, and hopes to have it in about three months.

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