Group surprises cancer survivor with new car

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LIBERTY, Mo. -- A young cancer survivor is celebrating both her birthday and Christmas a couple weeks early. An area group with a heart for helping got a teen “rolling” in a way she never thought possible.

It was a facial expression everyone in the garage at Gene’s Tire & Service Center had been waiting weeks to see. Brent Friday with Code 1 Dream Makers said, “It's been very hard to do; keep it a secret from a teenager.”

Shelby Matthews went through 2 ½ years of cancer treatment. She said, “It was really hard. There were times I didn't think I was going to make it, and there was a lot of times I was ready to give up.” Shelby’s mother Sherry Giles said, “It's hard when you're a teenager and you miss out on everything because of the illness. I'm just glad they could help because I couldn't afford it.”

Giles said she hasn't been able to buy a car for her daughter. When Code 1 Dream Makers reached out, that was the only thing she could think of that her 17-year-old needed. Friday said, “It's great to do things like this. The world needs more giving and caring right now.”

Code 1 Dream Makers partnered with Gene's Tire & Service Center to find and build a set of wheels for the teen. Manager Scott Snyder said, “I have two kids. I have a daughter and son of my own, so that kind of meant more to me too. My guys have been excited for the last two weeks working on this car. They've put a lot of time and their own effort into it.”

All that time and effort wasn't lost on the car's recipient. Matthews said, “It means a lot to me. I'm just happy they tried to make my dream come true. [They] did a lot for me. I'm going to cry. I'm just really happy.” Her mother added, “I never dreamed in a million years this would happen. I'm lucky she's still here and now she has a car.”

Shelby named her car "Steve." She wrapped up chemo treatment in October. Her mother said after they got home Sunday, Shelby wasl sitting in her car in the driveway for more than an hour.

Learn more about Code 1 Dream Makers on their Facebook page.

Learn more about Shelby Matthews on the Shelby's Fight Facebook page.