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A Monster Wish

Austin with Grave Digger Monster Truck Driver Gary Porter

“ A wish empowers a child to fight harder against their medical condition. ”

Austin, 16, of Dover, Pa., loves cars and loves to watch them drive fast. Diagnosed with a seizure disorder, Austin only had one wish on his mind -- he wanted to meet the monster truck driver of Grave Digger, Gary Porter, to help get this mind off of his illness. Austin and his family traveled to Jersey City to attend the Monster Jam: Freestyle Mania show at the IZOD Center and meet his hero.

When the big day of the show arrived, Austin and his family were escorted to the arena in a limousine. Austin was given a private tour of the arena where he met Grave Digger driver Gary Porter. Porter helped Austin climb into the gigantic Grave Digger where he showed him how the truck operates. Austin and his sister were given gift bags that included Monster Jam T-shirts and a Monster Jam souvenir book.

During the Pit Party, Austin put on an official Grave Digger pit crew shirt that Porter lent him for the event, and he walked around with his family to view the other trucks that would be performing in the spectacle. Austin received many autographs from truck drivers and motocross and BMX bike riders. As show time was approaching, Austin and his family took their seats in a catered luxury suite.

Austin shouted and cheered during the entire show - so much that he didn't realize that Porter quietly snuck into their suite and sat down next to him to watch the BMX bike segment of the show. When he turned his head and noticed Porter next to him, Austin's face lit up with happiness. Afterwards, Porter returned to the show to compete against the other monster trucks and was announced the winner. When Porter gave his award acceptance speech, he gave special recognition to Make-A-Wish® and dedicated his victory to Austin.

After the show, Austin and his family headed back to their limo, but not before Porter came back to say one last goodbye. Austin was so ecstatic and pleased with his wish day. From the spectacular views of New York City from their hotel room to the incredible day spent with Gary Porter, Austin's wish was an experience that he'll never forget.

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