Colchester Teen's Automotive Wish Comes True

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A 16 year-old boy from Colchester got a big surprise thanks to Make-a-Wish Vermont.

Sixteen year-old Brayden Duggan spent six years saving up around $14,000 to buy his dream car--a Jeep Wrangler. But when he was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year that put a stop to his other hopes to spruce it up and make it his own. 

"When he was diagnosed with cancer his wish list of new tires, and mirrors, and winch, and fender flares--he was bummed because he couldn't continue to work and save money," said Kathy Duggan, Brayden's mother.

This summer Make-a-Wish Vermont started planning to make his dreams a reality. On Sunday he showed up at the Bond Auto shop in South Burlington to pick up a car part, where a group -- including a WCAX crew with a camera -- pretended to be filming a commercial for the store. The crew asked if he'd be willing to be in the commercial in exchange for a gift card for the shop. Duggan agreed, and was told to read cue cards that soon revealed the true reason he was there. 

"This isn't just any commercial. Actually, it's not a commercial at all, because today is the day I get my wish," Duggan said. Duggan says it was a total surprise. Make-a-Wish Vermont revealed he'd finally get his wish, and they had just the mechanic to make it all happen. "This means so much. It would take me my whole life for me to build this up by myself, but having them help out is huge." 

Dozens of his family and friends flooded out of the store to celebrate with him. "It's such an incredible wish, an incredible thing they're doing for him, but it has also helped him stay focused over the last couple of months when he goes through chemo. He works on his wish list, he does research, he just really spends his time thinking about and investigating something different than cancer." Kathy Duggan said.

His wish granters say it will take some time to get all the work done, but they're more than happy to make it happen. "A lot of it I think will depend upon Brayden and how he's doing and everything," said Sue Manchester, who along with Jane Cassidy, helped Duggan's wish come true.

"I think they'll do it pretty quickly. He wants to be involved in some of the mechanics of it, so I bet they'll do it within the next couple of months," Cassidy said.

Duggan is getting ready to start his last round of chemo. He says his Jeep keeps his spirits up. "It's definitely changed my life. You really look at life a new way, but that's why I love the Jeep, cause I can get away from everything and escape and go out and drive," he said.

Now, he'll have even more to look forward to as the Jeep gets a makeover.    

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