ARDMORE, Ala. (WHNT) – If you give a teenager a new car, you probably just made their dream come true. For one 17-year-old from Decatur, it wasn’t a new car that made his wish list.
After a long battle for his life, Saturday that wish came true for Jon Campbell.
“I saw it, I just didn’t think it was mine,” Jon said with shock. “I saw the back of it and I was like ‘Oh hey, whose car is that?”
Jon has Chronic Kidney Disease. He made a wish to have his 2003 Volkswagen GTI customized.
“And then it pulled around, and it was mine,” Jon Gleamed. “So, I’m very shocked and very overwhelmed.”
While Jon was recovering from a kidney transplant, one Huntsville area car shop worked to make that wish a reality. Greg Marvin of ATG, Inc. says it was his hobby and passion that connected him with Jon’s wish.
“I was referred to Make-A-Wish, they just thought I would be a good candidate for the project,” Marvin said. “I’m so glad they did.”
It was all possible because of Marvin’s 25 plus years of involvement with the Volkswagen community.
Jon’s customized VW has a new wrap job, new wheels and tires, an overhead storage unit, new headlights and a new custom interior. Part that came from all over the world.
“New wheels and tires that came in from Germany, the full color change wrap was donated by Signs Unlimited in West Virginia. The interior was hand stitched by Loves Trim Shop in Locust Grove Georgia. And a wide array of ‘Clean Freaks’ products from our vendor in Ireland.”
The restored car was kept a secret from Jon, and revealed Saturday at the Ardmore Car Show. Make-A-Wish Alabama President and CEO Pam Jones said, “fulfilling this wish is more than restoring a car. It’s about restoring hope, strength and joy in a child’s life, and that’s exactly what Greg has done.”
His mother, Regina, played a large role too. “I had to keep a lot of secrets and make up stories to get him here,” she smiled. “The family had to hide from him while they were getting the car here.”
But, to Jon, the secrets weren’t what made this all possible.
“It was really my mom though,” he said. “I mean, she gave me the kidney. It’s all her, all the time.”
“I did that because I love my son,” Regina said. “If I could give him another one, another Kidney, I would. But, that was a blessing. It was a blessing for us.”
Jon said he would never sell his new, precious car.
“Not even for a billion dollars.”