Dad buys cancer-stricken son a Mustang, Ford CEO Jim Farley helps him live for today



joseph tegardine ford mustang

 

This is one of those feel-good stories that’s from the “Remember what you’ve got” and the “Wait, I think I have something in my eye” files. As told by the Detroit Free Press, Utah resident Joseph Tegardine has always been a Ford Mustang guy — and judging by the 1995 Bronco he used to own, maybe a FoMoCo guy. He told the Detroit Free Press, “I’ve just liked Mustangs for as long as I can remember. Six-year-old me liked it, the headlights looked cool, and I stuck with it.” About six years later, in the seventh grade, Joseph complained to his parents about knee pain. Doctors ran the tests and had to tell the family the football-playing kid had osteosarcoma, a cancer that starts in bones. The years since then have been filled with tests, cancer treatments, and surgeries, one of the procedures requiring doctors to remove his right leg below the knee.

Joseph never stopped wanting a Mustang, and had picked up a job at Sodalicious to get the money. When doctors discovered cancerous tumors in Joseph’s lungs, his father — also Joseph, so we’ll do as Freep did and call him Joe — knew his son was running out of time to get the car and enjoy it properly. So Joe bought Joseph a 2020 Mustang EcoBoost with the 2.3-liter High Performance Package that upgraded output to 330 horsepower and 350 pound-feet. Naturally, Joseph loves the car. Joe tweeted after the purchase, “For those wondering why I’d buy my 18yr old son a 330hp Mustang, well, he’s been given months to live and can’t work long enough to buy one himself. His comment on the way home, ‘Dad, I’m going to squeeze a few extra months of life just to be able to drive this.’ #cancersucks”    

That tweet received a huge response, including one from Ford CEO Jim Farley, who wrote, “Hi Joe, I’m so sorry to hear what your family is going through. Please let me know if you and your son would like to attend @FPRacingSchool to experience a @FordMustang Dark Horse on the track. DM me and we’ll make it happen.”

Farley then sent Joe a direct message, the result being that Joseph is headed to the Ford Performance Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, for a couple of days to get pro instruction on how to drive his Mustang — and the Dark Horse, too. Ford’s taking care of flights and hotel, too. Joseph told Freep about the upcoming trip, “I don’t know how to drift. I’ve always been too scared to go to a parking lot to figure that out, because I’d just hit a light pole or something… I need an instructor, a trainer. Also, I get to drive one of the most powerful Ford track Mustangs there is. This is going to be sick.”

The Mustang track day will happen sometime after the Tegardine family returns from Japan, the Asia trip checking off another of Joseph’s bucket list items. On the other side of that, Joseph’s treatment has come down to prolonging life and managing pain. Joseph’s wisdom in the middle of it was, “You have to live day by day because, day by day, if you look at my life, it’s actually fantastic. I’m in Japan right now. I’ve got a car of my dreams, I’m surrounded by tons of people I absolutely adore and I’m going to driving school,” he said. “Then you look at the future, and it all starts to break down. I don’t really need to look at the future. Morbidly, I don’t really have one. I can’t be, like, ‘In a year —’ If I get a year, I’ll be extremely lucky.”





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