For Mitch, fixing cars is the one thing that puts his cheer into gear. Since the time he could drive, Mitch has been learning his way around both new and classic automobiles – listening to their engines, diagnosing their defects and replacing their faulted parts. But in January of 2015, Mitch had to put the brakes on his hobby and focus on his own repair. He was diagnosed with stage 4 lymphoma and faced a yearlong battle of treatments, medications, trials and tribulations. Now, Mitch is cancer-free and fixin’ to get back in the shop. On behalf of Make-A-Wish® and Snap-on Tools, Mitch not only received his wish to have some of his most desired auto-tools, but was surprised with enough gear to outfit his dream garage.
On the morning of his wish, Mitch was simply expecting his wish volunteers to arrive to his Washington, PA, home for a small celebration with a couple auto-tools he put on his list. When the volunteers arrived, they gave Mitch just a few new tools and gear, along with goodies for the party such as decorations, customized cookies and other scrumptious snacks. While watching him ecstatically open his new tools, his volunteers and a few members of the Make-A-Wish staff stood in secret anticipation of what was to happen next.
Soon after, Mitch was called to the driveway to see his surprise roll onto the road – two huge Snap-on franchise trucks with a third rolling behind, filled with Mitch’s extra tools. As they parked outside his home, Mitch was in total disbelief, exclaiming, “What is this? What is going on right now? Is this real? Is this happening?” The Snap-on reps climbed out of their vehicles and began hauling in a hefty load of gifts for Mitch.
The biggest bundle he received was an EPIQ Roll Cab with PowerTop™ that stands taller than Mitch himself. This massive, red tool box was riddled with all of the gear Mitch could have wanted, plus more! This included power drills, wrenches, T-shirts, gloves, helmets and all sorts of accessories (even a built-in microwave). But there was more – the Snap-on employees measured the family’s garage in order to make a custom hydraulic car lift, rising above any of Mitch’s expectations. “I have enough stuff here, it will fix itself,” Mitch said with amazement.
As Mitch got his hands on each gadget, he was eager to get to work. “I still don’t believe it all. I thought I was going to get a Make-A-Wish T-shirt and a couple of wrenches…and then you show up with the Snap-on guys!,” Mitch said in awe. This car fanatic plans on using his savvy set of tools for a variety of projects: new cars, classic cars and even repairs for strangers. Ever since undergoing chemotherapy, Mitch has been donating good deeds to his fellow drivers by doing free repairs for anyone in need.
In a surprising twist of fate, one of the Snap-on employees wasn’t just generously granting Mitch’s wish, he was giving back, too. Jeff Dalrymple, 30, of Morgantown, WV, was granted his wish when he was 12 years old after being diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. For his wish, Jeff traveled to Universal Studios for a family vacation in sunny Orlando, FL, where he fondly remembers visiting the beach and BMX bike riding. “We brought him all the tools he could ever need or want,” Jeff said, “It was a pretty cool experience. Going back in my life, I was able to make a wish and my dreams came true. I’m just very thankful I was able to come here today and give back to Make-A-Wish.”
Since having his wish granted, Mitch has already put his tools to good use, taking on projects big and small. “I’m trying to keep my tools clean,” Mitch said, but he is the true engine – full of motivation and direction, ready to take on the road.