The only thing Wesley Ryan loved more than his car was his family.
So when his wife Laura was diagnosed with ovarian cancer 17 years ago as a young mother, Ryan sold the white 1993 Ford Mustang GT to help pay for her medical bills.
His son Jake still remembers riding around in it, sitting in a booster seat next to his sister Jeni and dreaming of driving it one day. He said that selling the car was “one of the biggest sacrifices I’ve seen him have to make for us, for all of us. I know how much it broke him in half seeing that car drive away from him. A day I’ll never forget.”
With so many years passed, Wesley, 47, had no idea what was about to happen when his wife and kids blindfolded him in a department store parking lot earlier this month, then broke down in tears when they revealed the Mustang on the back of a flatbed truck. The touching moment was captured on video with the Zac Brown Band song “My Old Man” playing in the background, and posted to Jake’s Facebook page.
Jake told the San Antonio Express-News that he came across the car while perusing Craigslist a couple of years ago, but couldn’t close a deal. When it popped up again recently, he and Jeni and her boyfriend all chipped in to buy it. And pay their good fortune forward in a way they couldn't have expected.
In a sad twist of fate, the seller was letting it go because her own mother had contracted ovarian cancer and they needed the money for treatment. Hopefully, things will turn out as well for her as they did for Laura, who Jake said has been cancer-free for 13 years.
Wesley told the Express-News that what his children did for him "shows where they are: they are balanced human beings. My wife and I have succeeded, we've raised productive adults, it's the strongest, most powerful feeling that a parent can have."
Jake said he can’t wait to help his dad work on the car and see what it’s like to ride up front in the “co-pilot” seat.