Getting from Wetaskiwin to Edmonton for cancer treatment in an old, broken car was not easy for Cadance Smallboy and her family.
The six-year-old was diagnosed with leukemia and has four appointments a week at the Stollery Children’s Hospital.
But her family’s old sedan was on its last legs with more than 300,000 kms on the odometer.
That’s where Red Deer Mitsubishi stepped in and gave the family a brand new car.
“It’s just surreal. It doesn’t feel real,” said Cassanda Morin, Cadance’s mother.
Christian Morales, Red Deer Mitsubishi sales, first met the family when grandmother Kimberly Lange came in to buy a new vehicle in September. Immediately, he connected with Cadance. The whole family, who had all recently shaved their heads in solidarity with Cadance, came to buy the car.
“The first time I met her, she warmed my heart,” said Morales. “She gave me the biggest hug right off the bat, and you could feel how much love she has.”
When Lange returned to finalize the paperwork, Morales let Cadance shave his head. After that first encounter, Red Deer Mitsubishi general manager Chad Protasiewich told the family that if they ever needed anything, to just let them know. Protasiewich had an idea of sending them to Disneyland or a similar type of gesture at the time.
But the family turned it down.
Then, two weeks ago, Lange reached out saying her daughter’s vehicle needed new brakes and winter tires and asked if they could help. That’s when the planning to give a new car away came together.
On Saturday, the family drove to pick up what they thought would be their repaired car. Instead they were greeted by a brand new Mitsubishi Mirage.
“I’m still shaking. I’m truly grateful,” said Lange. “A mother’s biggest worry is her children, I feel happy that I don’t have to worry about her.”
Protasiewich also offered to buy the old car for $2,500. He admits it was a more than generous offer. To get it running again would have taken a new battery, brakes, tires, struts, thermostat and more.
“I knew it had problems, but I didn’t know it had that many problems,” said Morin.
Morin said Cadance has an 80 per cent chance of her leukemia going into remission. But she will be in treatment for the next two years.
“They’ve touched all of us and we’re proud that you’re part of our family here,” said Morales. “They will always be a part of my heart.”