SANDY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) – Car enthusiasts had plenty to look at at Autorama today as many impressive and unique trucks, motorcycles, and cars were on display. But, one car in particular had a special meaning to one incredible teen.
18-year-old Riley Culley was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma, a rare type of bone cancer, that can be fatal. About a year ago Riley began the long process of treatments to rid him of the cancer.
“Today, to fall on the one year anniversary of that diagnosis, all day I’ve been asking myself if it’s a sign or perhaps it resembles the rainbow at the end of the rainstorm and hopefully there will be no more cancer,” said Jackie Culley, Riley’s mother.
One of Riley’s biggest dreams was having his family car restored. So the people at Make-a-Wish coordinated and helped make his dream a reality.
Riley’s mother said the car had been in the family for generations. It was first purchased by Riley’s grandmother and then handed down to Riley’s father when his father was 16-years-old.
“When I met my husband he drove “The Mustang”…Paul drove the car the entire time we were dating up until the point we had two kids and couldn’t get car seats in the back seat, at that time we parked it in the backyard and it just sat back there kinda getting rusty and both my boys Riley and Levi would go out there and sit in the car and dream of the day we had the money to fix this car and refurbish it,” said Jackie.
The people at Make-A-Wish reached out to the community and Riverton Rods and Rides along with other members of the community jumped on-board to help. The process to restore the car took about a year and many people who helped restore the car had never met Riley.
The expression on Riley’s face was priceless when he finally saw the big unveil of his new car.
“Just to see it brought back to life is symbolic of Riley’s fight with cancer and seeing it coming out better than it was before,” said Jackie.
Riley and his family are now looking forward to the coming years and feel even more blessed to know that Riley’s cancer is in remission.
“We just try to live in the present moment, and this last year has afforded us the opportunity to laugh more, cry more and spend more time together than we ever have,” said Jackie.