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Eli gets his 1974 Trans Am Firebird restored

Eli in car

“ The power of a wish is just so amazing ”

- Wish mom, Caroline

Eli’s road to a wish experience began when he casually brought to his parents’ attention a swollen lymph node in his neck.

Eli’s mom, not overly concerned, but mentally trying to remember the last time he’d had a cold, sore throat or cough that might explain it came up empty. In fact, Eli had been exceptionally healthy in the previous eight to 10 months. The next day, at a doctor’s appointment, Eli was given a round of antibiotics and after that

Eli car10-day treatment, nothing had changed. Meanwhile, all Eli’s blood work came back showing normal results. About a month after finding the initial swollen lymph node, Eli and the doctor found a few more. A biopsy was done that showed “a few abnormal cells” but nothing that was overly alarming to the doctors. After a few weeks of watching and waiting and the swollen nodes remaining unchanged, Eli was referred to the pediatric infection disease specialist. After an exhaustive lab work up, everything came back negative. But the swollen node persisted. A second biopsy was ordered by the pediatric oncologist and it was after that biopsy that Eli was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. 

The diagnosis came as a complete shock to the family. Eli hadn’t been “sick” at any point during this process. It was later found that the fact there were no symptoms meant that Eli had the “A” type cancer and later scans and tests confirmed Stage II-A Hodgkin’s. This however was good news as the prognosis for survival of this cancer is very high.


Eli began treatment shortly after diagnosis. During treatment, Eli’s family learned that because of his life-threatening medical condition, Eli would be eligible for a wish experience through Make-A-Wish. A volunteer team met with Eli and his family and when trying to find his one true wish, nothing really seemed to stick. Until one night when Eli was thinking about his wish and his great uncle’s car popped into his head.

Shortly before Eli was diagnosed, his great uncle gave him his 1974 Trans Am Firebird. Unfortunately, the car was in less than pristine condition but it held great sentimental value for Eli. It became clear that Elis’ one true wish would be to have the car restored so he could use it to take his driver’s license test! Fast forward a few months and it’s time for Eli’s wish to fully come true! At a surprise reveal, Eli is presented with the fully restored 1974 Trans Am Firebird. His wish come true!

Eli is currently in remission and looking forward to being able to take his driver’s license test.
His illness set him apart from his friends, having this car restored has given them a new common ground to reconnect. ”

— Wish mom, Caroline

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