Jacob Persing’s eyes lit up at the sight of his 1977 Chevrolet Scottsdale C10. Once worn out and in need of TLC, the restored Chevy now looks – in Jacob’s words – “better than new.”
Someday, he plans to say the same about himself.
Jacob, a 15-year-old sophomore from Constantine, Mich. (near the Indiana border), has been battling cancer for more than two years. The truck restoration project was granted through Make-A-Wish Michigan, which is completely funded through donations and volunteer work.
“It was in really bad shape,” Jacob said of his Chevy. “The floor boards were ripped up, the speakers were gone. It didn’t look like this, that’s for sure. But everything is done. Everything is fixed. It’s just something I’ll always remember – a way to look back at my struggles and remember what I went through.”
Christy Hammond, Make-A-Wish Michigan’s Communications and Public Relations Manager, said automobile-related wishes are common.
“Our wish kids have amazing imaginations, from wanting to meet their hero to getting their vehicle customized or seeing their favorite event,” she said. “Make-A-Wish Michigan shares the power of a wish with community supporters – from organizations to celebrities to people like you and me – to make these special car-related wishes come true for our incredible wish kids.”
Make-A-Wish Michigan granted 413 wishes in 2014 and expects to grant 440 this year.
Hammond was asked to name her five most memorable car-related Make-A-Wish Michigan wishes – a nearly impossible task, she said. So we let her pick six:
- I wish to go… to Germany to visit AutoMuseum Volkswagen, tour the Volkswagen factory and ride in a Bugatti.
- I wish to go… to North Carolina and meet YouTube car reviewer Kyle Lindsey (SaabKyle04).
- I wish to go… to the Daytona 500.
- I wish to have… Tools so I can work on my 1989 Toyota Cressida with my family.
- I wish to go… to Disneyland or Walt Disney World Resort to meet the “CARS” movie characters
- I wish to go… to Monster Truck Nationals in Las Vegas.
“The power of a wish is a wonderful thing,” Hammond said. “Days when the kids get their wish, that’s the best part of the job. They’re going through the worst of times, but for a moment they get to be happy kids.”