Amazing Neighbors

March 28, 2014

Cancer patient gets Make-a-Wish sports car tune-up

Make-a-Wish tunes up sports car for Redford teen with rare bone cancer

PLATTSBURGH — From bikes to cars to the “Fast and Furious” movies, 18-year-old Nathan Wood has always had a need for speed.

Last March, a rare bone cancer called Ewing sarcoma threatened to steal that speed as it caused pain and swelling in his pelvic region.

But the Redford teen has no plans of slowing down anytime soon and was recently given even more speed courtesy of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Northeastern New York.


Seated in the back of a limousine, Nathan and his family pulled into the garage at the Bill McBride Subaru dealership in Plattsburgh on Wednesday evening.

Stepping out from the limo, Nathan was greeted by a room full of cheering friends and family members. Behind the crowd was a vehicle covered in a thin gray tarp with a cool blue light pulsing beneath it.

Technicians pulled back the tarp to reveal a new and improved version of Nathan’s 2013 Subaru BRZ.

After four sessions of waxing and buffing, the dark blue sports car gleamed beneath the garage lights and stood out against the pale walls and flooring.

Among the improvements were engine upgrades, underbody lighting, an upgraded sound system and a carbon fiber hood and rear wing. The wing was custom-made by the California-based company Password:JDM.

“They did perfect on it,” Nathan enthused, saying that he couldn’t choose just one favorite upgrade and appreciated all of them.


The tune-up was a collaborative effort between the Bill McBride Auto Group and a team from nearby Big Apple Audio and Customizing, said Tim Riley, director of marketing and communications for the Make-a-Wish branch.

“They essentially kicked in hours and hours of free labor to make the wish happen, and they were beyond super,” he said.

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