Representatives of the Dream Factory of Lexington, a non-profit organization that grants the wishes of severely ill children, were a little surprised by the request of a 16 year old Perryville boy battling Hodgkin's Lymphoma.
Travis Stivers took his first car, a rusty, road weary 1978 El Camino, to the Eastside Technical Center Tuesday to be painted and refurbished. Following chemotherapy and radiation treatment, Travis's prognosis is now good.
His mother, Patty Stivers, tells 27 Newsfirst, "He went through so much, and it's just really a blessing for us for this to take place. That's all he talked about this summer, waiting for this day to come."
Travis says, "This whole experience with my first car really gave me that extra enthusiasm to hope and to get up and get better. That was part of the strong will and happiness I had to help me recover so fast."
Of course, Travis Stivers had his choice of a lot of other dreams, but this car had been on his mind for a long, long time. He says, "Ever since I was a little kid, this one really stuck out to me. I'd be looking through magazines and say, 'oh, look at that El Camino.' This one I happened to find when I was right in the middle of my treatments in some of my worst times."
And now he knows exactly what he wants his dream car to look like.
"I've picked out kind of a dark blue color that I think will look really great with the lines of the car. Then I want to keep the two tone with the roof and underneath, and that will be a white color. Finally I want some chrome wheels to set it off."
He won't have to wait long. Joshua Carpenter, the Eastside Technical Center student in charge of the project, gives this estimate, "In 2, maybe 3 weeks, it should be sanded and finished so we can give it back to him. It's something the whole class will work really hard on."
Travis has already done a lot of work on the engine, and now he and his family can hardly wait to see the finished product. Patty Stivers says she can't believe how much her son has matured during his lymphoma ordeal, and that was obvious when he told us, "Things sort of even out. Some people have to go through bad things, but there's always good things to make up for it."