Making A Difference

Teen Battling Rare Blood Disease Has Wish Granted With Restored Truck

NBC Universal, Inc.

A local community is rallying together to make wishes come true for a teenager who is battling a rare blood disease.

Jake Watson, 18, was diagnosed with the disease when he was in the eighth grade. Throughout the intervening years, there has been one dream that he has always been seeking out: a full restoration of his late grandfather’s pick-up truck.

“When I met Jake two and a half years ago, he was determined to carry on his grandfather’s legacy, and to have it for himself,” Leslie Broadner, a volunteer with the Make-a-Wish Foundation, says.

Finally this weekend, first responders, friends of the Watson family and several local businesses came together to help make that dream come true.

The truck, newly restored and gleaming, was given to Watson this weekend. Several local businesses, including Kallemeyn Auto Center, participated in the restoration. The truck was ushered to its new home by first responders, fire trucks and even semi-trucks.

Even though Watson’s grandfather has passed away, Watson says that he knows that his beloved grandpa was there in spirit.

“This is a lot more than what I expected. I did not expect any of this to happen,” he says. “Thank you to my friends and family for supporting me throughout this journey. This is crazy. I don’t know what else to say!”

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