Reporting Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield
LONG LAKE, Minn. (WCCO) – Sixteen-year-old Matthew Wood thought he was just taking a look at a collection of classic cars. However, it was just a detour to get to the one that was waiting for him.
He knew that a project was in the works through the Make A Wish Foundation to restore his favorite car – a 1968 Dodge Charger. Make A Wish even had to ask Morrie’s Automotive Group for extra help to make this teenage cancer patient’s dream come true.
But John Wood didn’t know this day would even come for his son Matthew.
“We were sitting in the hospital, didn’t know if he was going to make it. So this is a victory,” Wood said.
“You sit in a hospital room for a week. I started to miss even just the color of the grass,” Matthew said.
But he’s in remission now – just like his car.
To get Matthew in the driver’s seat, it took about 50 people, 700 hours and $50,000 worth of restoration.
“It’s incredible what people did. People that don’t know us or know the story,” Wood said.
John Aretz of Morrie’s Automotive Group was one of these people.
“The technicians at my store, everybody really did a great job getting involved and really enjoyed doing it,” Aretz said.
“I don’t know what to say except thank you to everyone,” Matthew said.
“To see him in the car, it’s kind of a victory for him,” Wood said.
And it seems like the road to recovery never looked so cool.
“It’s definitely not gonna leave my sight for a while,” Matthew said.
His last few scans have been good. The family says they’ve got about three more years before they feel real relief. But so far, so good.