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Volunteers restore dream car ‘Maria’ for Idaho teen battling brain tumor

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FOX News logoVolunteers restore dream car ‘Maria’ for Idaho teen battling brain tumor

An Idaho teenager battling an inoperable brain tumor is getting his dream ride after a Boise body shop manager and other local businesses stepped in to help.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic gripped the nation, filling America’s hospitals, he had fallen in love with the idea of buying and refurbishing a classic car.

“I just kept looking on Craigslist, on Facebook, for something I could drive, I could work on,” he told KTVB-TV earlier this week.

That’s when he found “Maria,” a classically attractive 1964 Mercury Monterey.

He told his father Josh Medcoff he knew “she” was “the one” and paid $1,500 — knowing it would still need plenty of repairs.

Scott Reynolds, who is the general manager of Harold’s Auto Body in Southeast Boise and Josh’s good friend, wanted to help out. But first, they needed to raise the cash.

Reynolds asked Coleman if they could ask for aid from Make-A-Wish Idaho, but Coleman refused.

“He said, ‘Every week, I go to chemo, and I see these little kids with tubes plugged in, and no hair, and they are throwing up and sick, and their families are suffering with them,'” said Reynolds. “He told me, ‘I don’t need a car. Those kids need to go to Disneyland, they need to go to Hawaii — they need their wish worse than I need a car.'”

That’s when Reynolds came up with the idea of reaching out to community members for donations.

“My dad walks in and said, ‘I talked to Scott, looks like he’s picking up your car tomorrow,'” Coleman remembered. “He said, ‘They are going to do a full restoration on it.'”

The work on Coleman’s Mercury began in February and has continued for months amid coronavirus fears.

Since then, money for Maria has poured in from all over the country.

“How often do you get the chance to change someone’s life? And this is life-changing. It’s worth it for all of us. It’s a lot of hours, a lot of time, a lot of money, but why not?” said Reynolds.

While Coleman still has months of cancer treatment left, he said he’s excited to get behind the wheel and pay this gargantuan effort forward.

Reynolds said they hope to deliver Maria to Coleman in September.

“It will mean everything in the world to me, and it will mean everything in the world for me to give something back to people,” Coleman said. “Thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. It means the world to me!”

A GoFundMe page for #PROJECTMARIA has been set up to aid in Reynolds’ labor of love. So far, organizers have raised $1,808 of a $20,000 goal.

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