Teen cancer survivor gets exotic car dream fulfilled

Weekend Extra

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A local teenager who’s been battling cancer got the ride of his life Friday.

Josh Bender was all smiles at Velocity Motorcars in Nashville where his dream of driving a Porsche was fulfilled.

The 17-year-old’s parents said he was diagnosed with cancer and has undergone the challenges of chemotherapy.

“Josh was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma about a year ago. He went through several rounds of chemotherapy and now he’s recovered,” said his mother, Julie Bender. “It was tough for him as a high school student to lose his hair and to go through that journey around his peer group and now he’s kind of rebuilding himself both emotionally and physically.”

Josh said he’s always had a passion for cars – especially Porches – and about two dozen exotic cars were lined up for him to test drive on Friday.

“I’m just kind of lost for words with the experience and the hospitality,” he said.

Black Top Rally and the Make-a-Wish Foundation teamed up for the teen’s special day.

“It’s just fun to be able to give back. A lot of people are blessed with these cars. It’s fun to be able to use them for good,” said Black Top Rally Part Owner Matt Buckner.

He said they’ve been helping kids get these experiences for about four years.

“Last year we went through chemo and all that so last summer kind of trying and emotions up and down or whatever so now to see him in recovery and in remission and seeing things that give him such joy versus last summer, it brings smiles to our faces. We’re humbled that we’re actually able to do this,” said Josh’s father, Tom Bender.

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