BONDURANT, Iowa –An old car will help a family dealing with so much make new memories.
A customer recently brought in a ’98 Subaru Legacy into Williamson's Repair and Tire in Bondurant. Service Advisor Jamie Widen said, "It came into the shop with a broken timing belt."
"The original estimate to fix this car was about $3,500," he continued. Owner Keith Williamson said, “The customer declined to repair, saying they didn't want to spend that kind of money."
But the timing was just right, for the old car to leave a legacy. Williamson said, "It was like a sign from the Lord that hey, this is something you guys should do."
Widen said, "At that time we'd already been thinking about donating a car, trying to find a family in need."
The folks at Williamson's Repair and Tire fixed up the car, got suppliers to donate the parts, and found a way to surprise a family desperately in need. Widen guided the Hesse family from Altoona into a repair bay and said, "You know Rebecca (Widen’s wife) and I told you guys we've been working on something for you guys, and Keith has had a huge part of this."
"What we've been putting together for you, what we've been working on is that," he continued pointing to the white car. "It's got a full tank of gas. Here's your title and insurance is paid for,” Widen told the couple.
Tim Hesse said, “It's overwhelming. I never expected it. I don't know what to say."
The father of two hasn't been able to work since November, when he started feeling sick. He said, "It was about six days later they found the stomach cancer, and it was terminal."
Wife Jen Hesse said, “It's just mind blowing because stomach cancer is not a very well-known cancer. For his age, he's only 39, and it's more common in older people."
With no paycheck, a recent traffic accident and insurance issues, the Altoona family hasn't had reliable transportation. The used car will help Tim get to his appointments. He said, "It looks like a brand new car to me."
The car has dings, scratches and 157,000 miles of memories already on it. But, the new owners hope to add many more memories of their own.
Tim said, "Just try to make some memories this year. I was such a work-a-holic all those years."
Tim has been in and out of the hospital and doesn't have all his strength, but he hopes they'll now be able to make a few road trips to nearby attractions. Jen said, "It's just overwhelming and very honored to have friends and the support that we do have that are there for us and all the prayers that we have. It's just overwhelming."
Friends set up a go fund me account for the family's medical and daily and living expenses. Click here to donate.