Jace was barely in high school when he traded a steer for a blue 1976 Ford F-250. He had big dreams of making the classic truck a reliable vehicle for college – a family heirloom that he could pass down. But when Jase was diagnosed with leukemia, his plans to restore the vehicle were put on hold.
So when it was time to choose his one true wish, he knew he would want a wish that could stand the test of time. “My parents have incurred a lot of medical expenses for my brother and I in the last year,” he said. “If I could restore this [truck], I would have a reliable vehicle for college and something I can keep forever.”
It takes a community to grant a wish, and Jace’s wish inspired people across the state to take part in making his wish a reality. In Casper, 307 Collision Center Inc. completed body work and repainted the vehicle, with donations from Wyoming Automotive Refinish Supply and Glass Warehouse smoothing the road. The employees put in 318 hours on the truck, working for months to restore Jace’s truck to its former glory. WyoTech-Laramie students completed the interior upholstery, learning about the inside workings of a big project under the supervision of their professor. USA Trucking LLC transported the vehicle from Lander to Casper to Laramie and back throughout the process. Casper Tire LLC gave Jace’s truck a brand-new set of wheels and tires, while Glass Doctor of Casper replaced the windshield. Extreme Truck Outfitters LLC refinished the bed and added custom rhino lining, and Kistler Tent and Awning created a tonneau cover for the metaphorical cherry on top.
At Make-A-Wish Wyoming’s Stories of Light gala, there was a big surprise waiting for Jace in the ballroom. Before the event, Jace’s truck was unveiled to him and his family.
A smile crept across Jace’s face as he rounded the corner and saw his newly restored forest green Ford truck. His wish had been granted, and the community that took part in it was there to see it happen. His mother, Tammy, says it is wonderful “to see the sparkle in his eye every time he shows it to someone.”
Jace is immensely proud of his truck, the tangible representation of his granted wish. He was only 14 when it came to him -- perhaps he will pass it down to his own children one day.