Dying man's car wish answered
A dying man's wish, an ironic twist and a dash of goodwill were just what the doctor ordered to make a Christmas dream come true in Dunedin this morning.
Auckland doctor Jared Noel, who has bowel cancer and just months to live, accepted the keys to a sleek shiny black Audi which is his to drive for four days - a community having scrambled to fulfil his lifelong dream.
Anna Irving, of New Plymouth, a good friend and supporter of Jared and his wife, Hannah, has been fundraising through website Givealittle.co.nz to pay for an expensive drug. Avastin. to give 32-year-old Noel more time.
She had exhausted all avenues in trying to grant the Audi wish however.
Or so it seemed.
"He loves cars and he had always wanted to own an Audi," Irving said.
"Obviously, that wasn't going to be the case but I wanted to find one we could borrow or rent. But I wasn't having much luck."
By last week Irving was even considering buying a cheap one in good condition just to grant Jared his wish.
Then out of the blue Irving received a call from Estelle Bennett, of the Arohanui Hospice in Palmerston North, saying Irving had won a prize in its Hospice Homes and Hearts raffle.
"She said, 'you've won a prize - a makeover of a children's bedroom'," Irving said.
"[But because of my husband's job] we get shifted around the country, so we rent and I didn't have a room to do up.
"So, I was a bit cheeky and said 'look what's the next prize down, is there any chance we could swap?'"
"She said, 'how would you like a weekend in an Audi? And I just about fell off my chair! I couldn't believe it. It' s just uncanny!"
The Audi was shipped overnight to Dunedin, where Jared and Hannah are attending a wedding, by Armstrong Prestige Palmerston North.
In a well synchronised operation Hannah kept Jared busy at the back of the house as the car rolled up the driveway and then enticed him to the front door.
And Jared's reaction? Delight, of course.
"My car will be better than the wedding car," he said.
"It's not exactly what I expected this morning. I've only just woken up about 20 minutes ago. This is amazing. This is great. I'll have a lot of fun driving this.
"Of all the cars I've ever liked the Audi is one I've always wanted to get into and drive."
Hannah said she struggled to keep the secret about the Audi coming out.
To see something happening for Jared that he had talked about for a long time was "pretty special" she said.
The surprise came at the end of a harrowing week of chemo for Jared, she said.
- © Fairfax NZ News