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Homewood Chevy gifts car to elderly couple raising disabled great grandchild

by Erin Nauta
Homewood Chevy owner Steve Phillipos (right) presents a new car to Robert and Sandra Maszak, with great granddaughter Tori. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)

HOMEWOOD, Ill. (December 25, 2018) – At 10:00am on Christmas Eve, Chevrolet of Homewood gave a brand new 2019 Chevy Sonic to Sandra and Robert Maszak, the great grandparents of 7-year-old Tori Maszak, who is largely wheelchair-bound and can walk only a few steps at a time.

Though the Maszak’s 15-year-old Chevy Cavalier still runs, it has become impossible for the couple, now in their 70s, to lift their growing great grandchild into the back seat of the two-door car. The new Sonic has four doors, and the lower seats are just the right height for Tori to stand and slide into the car with a little help.

The new Sonic has four doors, so Tori will be able to approach the car with her walker, and her great grandparents will be able to pivot her into the back seat. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
Tori Maszak fits comfortably into the back seat of her new Chevy Sonic from Homewood Chevy. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)

Tori was born 3 months premature, weighing only 1.5 lbs. She was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Having raised a daughter of their own with cerebral palsy, Sandra and Robert confidently stepped in when Tori’s young parents found themselves in over their heads and overwhelmed. Then, last year, at the age of six, Tori lost her cognitive thinking and reasoning and was diagnosed with Childhood Disintegrative Disorder (CDD). This exceptionally rare condition has no cure. Tori is the only person in the U.S. known to have this combination of disabilities. Nonetheless, Sandra and Robert are dedicated to bringing up Tori, come what may.

The Maszaks were among the hundreds of people who entered the annual Homewood Chevy Cares giveaway. They submitted this video to explain their situation:

The management team at Homewood Chevy reviewed all submissions personally, and they unanimously chose the Maszaks as this year’s recipient.

Homewood Mayor Richard Hofeld (right) congratulated the Maszaks and provided them with a gift card for their first tank of gas. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)

This is Chevrolet of Homewood’s fourth Christmas Eve car giveaway. Each year, the contest is open to anyone, anywhere, provided the winner is able come to Homewood to receive the car.

Homewood Chevrolet is located at 8033 S. Halsted Street in Homewood, Illinois.


Erin Nauta
Erin Nauta
Erin brings a variety of experience — both creative and practical — to her work with The Lansing Journal. Whether she is designing ads, writing articles, answering phones, or doing pre-press proofing, her goal is excellence with a servant's heart.