ST. PAUL (WCCO) – A Harding High School junior who is battling a deadly disease got a surprise pick-me-up from his classmates and teachers.
Noah Martin, 16, was diagnosed last fall with severe aplastic anemia. His family said it means his body stopped making bone marrow and his blood cells are attacking themselves. The gearhead has missed school as he gets treatment, but he’s also been missed in one of his favorite classes.READ MORE: Police Respond To Overnight Unrest In Uptown
“He’s really sort of our leader, our student leader in the current Tech Ed. department and so I miss him in my auto shop,” said automotive teacher Gregg Adler. “In November when he was diagnosed we didn’t know what the prognosis was going to be, we didn’t know what his chances of even surviving.”
In February, Martin got a bone marrow transplant. With him no longer at school, his teacher and classmates secretly restored a 1996 Chevy Silverado for Martin as a gift.
“It took us about four months to get it finished. We had St. Paul College step up and did a huge job of the body work and the paint,” said Adler.
Students in his shop put in new headlights, detailed the interior, and buffed the fresh paint job to a showroom shine using donated tools and products from 3M.
“As soon as they contacted us I got in touch with our automotive aftermarket division and they stepped to the plate and we’re happy to donate the product,” said John Phillips, 3M representative.
“Once you get to know Noah, he’s a pretty good guy,” said junior Dayvion Tatum who helped with the restoration. “Just glad to see Noah’s doing well.”READ MORE: Violence Free Minnesota Finds Help For Domestic Abuse Survivors
Adler said the truck was worth $1,500, but that doesn’t include the donated parts, tools and labor. “He’s just a super kid and we just thought this would be a great thing,” said Adler.
His prediction couldn’t have been more correct.
“It looks very nice, they did a great job on it,” said Martin who still has to wear a surgical mask when he’s out.
It was hard for him to put into words just how grateful he was feeling as he gazed and the truck and sat in the front seat.
He’s missed several months of classes, but on this day he still learned an important lesson.
“How much everyone really cares that people aren’t that selfish,” he said. “It’s amazing.”MORE NEWS: Saint Paul Regional Water Services Is Well-Equipped To Handle Heat And Drought
A GoFundMe page was also started for Martin to help with medical costs. It’s already raised more than $6,000. To make a donation, click here. To learn more about his journey as he fights his disease, click here.