A teenager battling a rare form of cancer was gifted an incredible surprise for her 16th birthday: a baby blue Volkswagen Beetle.
Julia Mitchell received the heartwarming gift after strangers heard of her struggles with Ewing’s sarcoma — a form of cancer that typically impacts children — and reacted in the kindest of ways.
Mitchell has been sharing her harrowing journey on a recently created YouTube page. She had a tumor removed from her right hip in addition to facing radiation and chemotherapy.
The teen had been saving money for her first car before her diagnosis, but kind strangers made her quest to get a vehicle much more effortless than she ever could have imagined.
Donations started pouring in after a stranger named Katey McPherson wrote a Facebook post recapping the teen’s journey. McPherson had struck up a friendship with Mitchell’s mom, Wendy, and was moved by the story, KNXV-TV reported. So she took action.
“Cancer just stinks,” McPherson told the outlet. “We’ve all been touched by it, but to be so young, and to have such a rare form of it, and to not know what tomorrow brings is just heartbreaking.”
Once the story spread online, people started asking how they could help. Before long, money came pouring in and a dealership called Van Buick GMC in Scottsdale, Arizona, helped round out the cost.
But that wasn’t the end of the kind deed. The vehicle was delivered Jan. 20 to Mitchell with much fanfare, as a parade of police, cars, motorcycles, and others came with it.
The event was originally planned by Mitchell’s parents to help “lift her spirits.” The family initially invited people to celebrate Mitchell’s birthday and help her reach her goal of visiting Disney or helping her save for a car.
“She was working before she was diagnosed with the sole purpose of saving for a car so she could be more independent at 16,” the invite read. “God had other plans, so helping her get this wish would be amazing and such a huge help! When she’s over treatment, we will get her a car!”
Her parents had no idea what strangers and friends would do.
Mitchell, too, was shocked by the gesture and said she loves the vehicle.
“This is crazy,” she said with a touched smile. “I was not expecting this at all.”
What an amazing way to give back to someone in need.
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