Found a nice article written about this project ! (Sorry if posted earlier)http://www.frazeeforum.com/...D=61&ArticleID=22069Soldier leads team of strangers to grant Tyler Shipman's wish
by Barbie Porter
Frazee High School senior Tyler Shipman, 18, who has synovial sarcoma cancer, made a wish - to have his Fiero sports car refurbished.
It's likely his wish will be granted Nov. 20-22, mostly by strangers.
Oct. 29, Tyler, son of Daneele and Jay, posted a message titled "Got cancer ... looking for help" on Pennock's Fiero Forum, of which he's been a member since 2007.
"Hey guys I'm a total Fiero head," he wrote. "They're my life. I have an 1986 Fiero GT that I've been slowly fixing up. Well, now here I sit at the hospital with cancer and they can't treat it, and (don't) know how long I'll be here; they say till spring or longer or shorter ... I'm just trying to find some way to get it restored before I pass. I love this car. I don't know if people help with these things or not, but I figured I'd ask."
Across the globe in Iraq, U.S. soldier Sgt. Andrew Weigle, who is with E Company's 1-150th Assault Helicopter Battalion, read Shipman's post.
"At that moment I knew we had to do something to help him realize his dream," said Andrew, a native of East Berlin, Penn.
Andrew understands Tyler's passion for Fieros, after all he owns two, one of which he recently bought to restore with his 14-year-old daughter upon his return from Iraq.Trying out poses for his senior picture, Frazee High School student Tyler Shipman leans against his 1986 Pontiac Fiero,
which will be rebuilt Friday, Nov. 20 through Sunday Nov. 22.Paul Hunnel of Norseman Motors Auto Cleaning and Detailing in Detroit Lakes recently completed detailing work on
Tyler Shipman’s 1986 Pontiac Fiero. Norseman was one of many businesses to donate to the project. Photo by Barbie Porter
The Pontiac Fiero was built by General Motors from 1984 to 1988.
"The car was the first mid-engine two seat sports car made by an American car company, and the modifications and enhancements you can do to the car are only limited by your imagination," Andrew said.
He also understands how cancer impacts a family, their friends and a community.
Andrew's wife, who leads a Girl Scout troop, lost a 10-year-old member to cancer. He also has an aunt that is battling bone cancer, after she defeated breast cancer a few years ago.
"The strength and courage that Tyler has shown are beyond any that I have seen in another person," he said. "His story has touched the lives of me and my family, and our family on (Pennock's Fiero) Forum. He will forever be in our hearts and minds, no matter what happens. My wish is to see Tyler's wish for his car to come true, and that he will get to see it completed."
To make Tyler's wish come true, Andrew turned to Pennock's Fiero Forum members.
"I was shocked at the overwhelming response," he noted. "It went from an idea to take donations to get a new bumper for his car, to a full-fledged rebuild weekend."
Fellow Fiero fanatic, Chris Kliewer who lives near the Twin Cities noticed the thread on the Fiero message board and decided to donate a CD player.
"The more I learned about his story the more involved I wanted to be," Chris said, adding when he discovered the person spearheading the rebuild was in Iraq, he offered to coordinate the effort.
"Being stateside and somewhat close to Frazee, it would just be easier for me to organize the project," Chris said. "But (Andrew) really got the effort going and that says a lot about the people in armed forces. Even though he's across seas he saw something that needed to be done and had the decency to do it."
Chris, who spent his childhood years working on performance engines with his father and has years of experience rebuilding Fieros, plans to attend the rebuild.
"I've owned eight Fieros," he said. "And I've done all the work on them myself, from upgrades to rebuilding the engine to the transmission and suspension."
While searching for parts, Chris received help from two area businesses, Norseman Auto Detailing in Detroit Lakes and Frazee Auto Body.
Norseman offered to have Tyler's car detailed for free while Frazee Auto Body agreed to install a windshield, at first.
Owners David and Karen Gray upped the ante after reading about Tyler's story in the newspaper.
"We didn't realize how dire the situation was," Karen recalled. "By then we'd heard there were all these people coming to town to work on Tyler's car and we decided they should have a nice place to work, so we offered our shop and tools for the weekend."
Frazee Auto Body will also give the car a new paint job, free of charge.
"We're happy to do whatever we can to help out," Karen said. "The Shipmans are in our hearts and prayers."
Frazee High School teachers and community members have also stepped up to provide food for the volunteers.
Frazee Auto Body (334-6161) is looking to borrow tables for the build to give volunteers a place to break bread or take a break.
John Panicci of Lake Worth, Fla. is one of an estimated 20 people who plan on traveling to Frazee mid-November to work on Tyler's car.
John met Tyler on the Fiero message board.
"When Tyler said he had cancer I thought he was probably a 60-year-old guy," John said. "Then someone asked his age ... I was astounded that something like that would happen to someone so young (18)."
"Lying in bed at night, it has just been a feeling way down deep inside telling me to do this," John continued, noting things began to happen coincidently, such as unexpected bonus at work that covered the airfare and a change to his schedule that gave him an extra day off during the rebuild.
"As if that was not enough, I have been working on my car and purchased some parts that my mechanic asked me to get," Panicci said. "He never used (the parts) and told me to return them. And just Friday (Nov. 6) a post came up asking for those very parts for Tyler's car."
The Florida native will be joined by people from all over the U.S., and donations are being taken to soften the expense of travel and lodging.
Contact John at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information regarding donations for the volunteer accommodations, or to donate a part for the build.
"Anything left over from those donations will be given to the family," he said.
While the list of needed parts is shrinking rapidly, as of Monday, Nov. 9 builders still need:
• Tail light lenses (fastback).
• Radio/HVAC surround sound.
• A front 1986 GT bumper (taking donations for a new Fiero Store front fascia).
• Driver and passenger seats (still waiting to find out the color, Boostdreamer has a set in good condition).
• Passenger side gray aero rocker panel and mounting hardware.
• Rear window.
There will be a benefit for the Shipman family Sunday, Nov. 15 from 1-8 p.m. at the Frazee Event Center.
There will be turkey sandwiches on homemade buns and a silent auction. To donate an item for the auction contact Tracey Tinjum, 849-5726 or Diane Stone, 841-1607.
Donations can also be made to the family at United Community Bank, PO Box 156, Frazee, MN 56544.
[This message has been edited by CoolBlue87GT (edited 11-11-2009).]