Community Rallies To Restore Dream Car For Teen Battling Brain Cancer
The project has captured the hearts of people all over the country – find out how you can help make his dream come true!
While most teenagers are gearing up to go back to school, whether remotely or in-person, 15-year-old Cole Medcoff is battling a brain tumor.
The Parma, ID resident has been in cancer treatment since 2019, and while it hasn't been easy, Cole's dad says he's been able to stay positive through most of it.
"I think it wears on him more than he likes to show. He stays strong for myself and for his mother and for the other little kids at the hospital, and for everybody around him," Cole's dad Josh told KTVB-7. "Just seeing the pain and everything he goes through with this, it's really tough. As a parent you want to fix everything, take care of it, take away the pain kiss the boo-boo and you can't."
Cole has been getting cancer treatments for a brain tumor since 2019.Maria Monterey - The Car, The Legend/Facebook
Another reason Cole is motivated to continue his treatments is the special side project he's been working on. A few months before the coronavirus pandemic started, Cole had the idea of buying a classic car and fixing it up. Not only would it be a good distraction from his illness, but it would give him something to do in his spare time.
"I just kept looking on Craigslist, on Facebook, for something I could drive, I could work on," Cole said.
When they were driving through town one day, Cole spotted his diamond in the rough: a classic 1964 Mercury Monterey.
Cole's dream is to restore a classic 1964 Mercury Monterey back to its original beauty. Maria Monterey - The Car, The Legend/Facebook
"We saw the car on the side of the road and Cole said, 'Dad, that's it, that's the car, I gotta have it! That's the car,'" Jeff said.
The car cost $1,500, however the family knew that the cost of the repairs needed to bring it back to life would be much higher.
Scott Reynolds, a family friend who owns an auto body shop in Boise, ID, said he'd be happy to do the repairs, but they were left with the issue of finding the funds to make it happen. Reynolds suggested Cole go to the Make-A-Wish foundation for the money, but Cole couldn't get on board with the idea.
Cole didn't want to go to the Make-A-Wish foundation for the money to fix the car, saying that other kids needed it more. Maria Monterey - The Car, The Legend/Facebook
"He said I'm not going to do it. He's not one to take charity, he's very selfless," Reynolds said. "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.' 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.'"
Here's Reynolds surprising Cole with a preview of what the car's new paint job will look like...
So, Reynolds had the idea to hold fundraisers in the community and he reached out to teams from body shops all over the area help restore the car.
The restoration has been in progress for weeks, and anytime they need parts, they hold another fundraiser to get the money they need. As word about the project began to spread, donations started coming in from all over the country. There's even a Facebook group folks can join to keep up with the progress of the restoration called Maria Monterey – The Car, The Legend.
People from all over the country have been donating to the project. Maria Monterey - The Car, The Legend/Facebook
As for Cole, he's counting the days until he can take his dream car for a spin.
"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," Cole said. "Thank you. from the bottom of my heart thank you, it means the world to me!"
Reynolds has teamed up with other mechanics in the area to get the vehicle back in tip-top shape. Maria Monterey - The Car, The Legend/Facebook
We love how the community came together to make a young man's wish come true. We can't wait to see the finished result - and Cole's smiling face behind the wheel!