A New York man living with an incurable form of cancer will be able to take a road trip in his dream car thanks to the generosity of his local car dealership.
Peter Hagberg, of Rochester, New York, went to a West Herr car dealership last week in hopes of crossing off the final item on his bucket list, purchasing a Ford Mustang GT convertible.
Hagberg, 59, was diagnosed in 2014 with Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia, an incurable and rare form of blood cancer. Hagberg underwent six months of chemotherapy that put his cancer in remission, but the average survival rate is only six-and-a-half years, according to the National Institutes of Health.
While Hagberg was car shopping last week, he opened up to the car salesmen about his health struggles. The West Herr dealership responded by selling Hagberg his dream car at cost.
Days later, the West Herr auto dealership group -- 23 dealerships in all –- gave Hagberg and his wife, Jane, a check for $5,000 to help cover medical costs and pay for a road trip in the Mustang to visit their grandchildren in Maine and Pennsylvania.
“I was blown away,” Hagberg said. “It restored my faith in people. You kind of lose track of people who do good and you kind of have to search them out and they found me this time.”
James Raymond is the sales manager at West Herr Nissan of Lockport, where Hagberg purchased the car. He told ABC News that he and a fellow salesman knew immediately they wanted West Herr to help Hagberg even more.
“We were both in tears looking at each other saying, ‘We need to go a step further for Mr. Hagberg,’” Raymond recalled. “We were in awe of his spirit and his personality.”
Reynolds reached out to Matt Lasher, West Herr’s marketing director, expecting that the auto group could possibly give their customer $500. Instead, the dealership donated 10 times that amount.
“We were definitely touched by Peter’s story and wanted to do something special and allow him to go on a road trip and see his family and take full advantage of his car,” Lasher told ABC News. “We wanted to surprise him.”
Raymond added, “What we did is small compared to the battles that Mr. Hagberg faces everyday.”