By Ben Barry

A dad bought his dying teenage son his $20k dream car – as he doesn’t have long enough to save for it himself.

Joseph Tegerdine, 18, started experiencing knee pain in 2019 when he was 13 years old but his parents Joe, 49, and Kerry, 46, put it down to “growing pains”.

The pain persisted for a few weeks and started to keep Joseph up at night so he went for an x-ray and MRI at Methodist Richardson Medical Centre in Richardson, Texas, US.

The MRI results showed Joe had a synovial sarcoma – a rare type of cancer that tends to occur near large joints, mainly the knees – and he started chemotherapy 10 days later.

In May 2019, Joseph finished the treatment and went for a rotationplasty – a surgical procedure used to treat bone tumours in children that occur near the knee.

Joseph was given a 70 per cent survival rate but, in January 2022, Joseph was told the cancer had spread to his lungs and his hip and he had months to live.

Joseph Tegerdine with his parents Joe and Kerry and brother Langston. (Pix via SWNS)

After his terminal diagnosis, Joe went out and bought his son a 330 horsepower Ford Mustang as he had always dreamed of owning his own.

Delighted Joseph told his dad: ‘I’m going to squeeze a few extra months of life just to be able to drive this’.

Now the family are making the most of the time they have left and have visited Los Angeles to see Taylor Swift, Florida to swim with Dolphins and are currently in Tokyo.

Joe, a businessman, from Springville, Utah, said: “Joseph had been talking about owning a Mustang for a couple of years.

“He was always talking to me about buying one but we kept putting it off.

“Once he got his terminal diagnosis I spoke to my wife and said there was no way he has enough time to save money – so I went out and bought him one.

“He was so excited, he told me he wants to squeeze out a few extra months of life to drive the car.

“He really wants to live life to the fullest. He is not interested in spending the last few months hooked up to machines.

“He wants a high standard of living.”

The family was devastated when Joseph was first diagnosed.

Joseph Tegerdine with his girlfriend Lily. (Pix via SWNS)
Joseph Tegerdine at a restaurant. (Pix via SWNS)

Joe said: “They said they could see a growth.

“We then had an MRI and that same day we got a call.

“My wife knew it would be bad news and they confirmed it was a synovial sarcoma.

“It was so devastating because not only did the doctor say it was one of the worst cancers and the hardest to treat.

“You didn’t have Google to know that the statistics for survival were not good.

“We knew he would need to have his right leg amputated – it was horrible we just didn’t know what the outcome looked like.”

Joseph started chemotherapy on February 14, 2019 at Medical City Dallas Hospital, Taxes.

Then on May 3, 2019, he went for a rotationplasty.

Joe said: “Part of the treatment was that he would need an amputation.

“After the surgery, he had more chemotherapy until October 2019.

“He was the healthiest kid, he had never seen the inside of a hospital.

“His body was very strong and all the information they give you from when they take out the tumour looked very good.”

In January 2022, scan results showed Joseph’s cancer had spread to his lungs which took his survival rate from 70 per cent to 10 per cent.

He then underwent two surgeries to remove the tumour in his lungs which were successful.

Joseph Tegerdine in his Mustang. (Pix via SWNS)
Joseph Tegerdine in his Mustang. (Pix via SWNS)

Joe said: “After we got the all clear, Joseph started a drug trial where they would inject listeria bacteria into his body and programme them to kill the cancer cells.

“Unfortunately, in February 2023 his cancer spread to his hips.

“The doctor told us that we were talking about months and not years.

“Just a few weeks ago, doctors found a large tumour in his lungs and Joseph has now started radiation to prolong his life.”

When he was growing up, Joseph had always dreamed of owning a Ford Mustang.

After his parents found out Joseph was dying they bought him his own car so he could drive around in it before he died.

Joe said: “He has been talking about it for a few years and constantly looking and searching for the perfect car.

“After our last hospital visit, I spoke to his mum and said there is no way he will save enough money in time to buy it so we bought him it ourselves.

“When we collected the car, Joseph was able to drive it home and he turned to me and said: ‘dad, I’m going to squeeze a few extra months of life just to be able to drive this’.”

The family have been making sure Joseph lives his final months to the fullest and is currently on holiday in Tokyo, Japan and are planning a trip in the summer depending on how well Joseph is.


This is Premium Licensed Content. Would you like to publish this article? Please contact our licensing team.