Featured MX5 Miata!
My story is quite an extraordinary one that started in 2000. I owned a 1991 Mazda Miata. I loved that little car. I belonged to an online site, Miata.net. I was the first girl on the site to replace the timing belt on a short nosed crank engine. Everyone on the site was extremely helpful. Two years later, I was diagnosed with cancer and had to sell my little car to pay for all the surgeries. The Miata.net site raised $3500 for me...amazing for someone they only knew as MX5mama. I survived that cancer and went on to build a Show truck years later. I was featured in several magazines and won many awards. I sold that truck and bought and built a Jeep Wrangler and turned that into a Search and Rescue Jeep with Los Angeles County Sheriff. I organized the first CERT 4x4 SAR group. I was also the CERT Coordinator. (Community Emergency Response Team) sold the Jeep to full time RV.
Fast forward to 2016. In October I was diagnosed with Uveal Melanoma. It's a rare cancer. I had a tumor on the back of my left eye. In November I had radiation. This cancer is different than most cancers. It's travels differently thru out the body. When it's radiated, it likes to fragment off in microscopic particles. In 3-4 years, it will usually settle in the liver and/or lungs. It's very resistant to treatment and is terminal in 6-8 months. During the next 24 months, I will lose vision in my left eye. I know it's better than having the entire eye removed, but I'm an artist and I don't know how my art will be affected. I am currently 53 years old. So....with that future ahead of me, I want to have fun in life. My heart was always with Miatas.
I currently live on the Oregon Coast. Miatas here are very overpriced. I have a dear friend, who I met 17 years prior from my first Miata. We stayed close friends this entire time. We've called, emailed and only met one time. He races Miatas and owns 3. I asked him to help me find a Miata. He knew which model would be best. I only had $6000 to spend so this would be tough. We both scoured ads, online sites, anything. He looked at a few but they didn't meet his expectations. I found one on AutoTrader and sent it to him. He called the owner who lived 3 hours from my friend. My friend, Steve, works for Mazda and JD Powers. He was out of town for the week. The seller had a lot of calls for this car. I was worried. I emailed the seller and said how much I liked his car and that Steve would be working in my behalf. I also said I hoped the car wouldn't sell before Steve could look at it.
Unbeknownst to me, he had read my blog. I blog about my cancer, my Fibromyalgia, nerve damage and my husbands Myasthenia Gravis. I blog about our doctors, treatment, the pain, and how I don't think I'll make it too many more years. He emailed me back and had wonderful words of support. Steve also emailed him and he told Steve he would hold the car until Steve could look out it! Wow!!! Couldn't believe it!! The Thursday before Steve could get there, we hit a logistical issue. Steve would have to have someone go down with him so if he bought the car, he needed someone to drive his car back. The seller keeps the license plates, so seller and Steve were worried about driving 3 hours without plates. Steve came up with the idea of the seller driving the car up to him. We'd pay full price and if it didn't work out, we'd give him $100 for his trouble.
The seller drove the Miata up and his wife followed. Steve called me and said the car was even better than we could ever expect. I was able to speak with the seller and thanked him for his kindness and how he went out of his way to sell a car. He could have kept it simple and sold the car near him and not had to waste a day driving all over Florida. He told my friend, 'I wanted to do something nice for her'. The kindness didn't stop there. The car is now at my friends house. His wife gave up her garage so Norma Jean (my cars new name) could be cool and protected. The next day Steve wanted to do some work on her, front brakes, replace a bulb and more. He had a friend of his, Jerry, help him for days. Jerry also doesn't know me. After the several days of working on my car, Steve told him all about me.
The next obstacle. How to get the car to Oregon. Steve looked into shippers. The least expensive was $1350. The car was $600 over my budget and now shipping. Ouch, but I had to get the car. I contacted the shipper and he was set to pick up the car on Monday. Steve was out of town that week, 3 more Mazda dealers. Jerry and Steve's wife, drove the car to meet the carrier. Jerry left something special for me in the cup holder. They took a dozen pics. I was so excited. It was a 7 day ETA. The destination point was 2 hours from my house. The driver called and said he'd be there Friday between 1-2 pm....4 days early!!! My husband and I drove over. With my husbands Myasthenia Gravis, he gets double vision several times a day. He now had to drive home 2 hours. It would be the longest he's driven since diagnosed. Oh boy! We saw the carrier come around the corner....there she was!!! Dirty as could be but still so pretty. It was the best 2 hour drive home I've ever had!! Inside the cup holder was 2 racing angel pins, one for me and one for my husband. So sweet! The next day, I detailed her and she shines! She has paint flaws, but so do I so we fit!! She is a 2009 Red Grand Touring!
The reason I wanted to share this story is....I'd like you to know....the little Miata's are more than just a car. It's an entire community of people brought together. It's amazing people doing amazing things for people they don't know. Yes, I have a rare cancer, and yes, there is a possibility of a shortened life, BUT, I am the luckiest person! I have strangers who care, go out of their way to pay it forward. The Miata will be my last car. Always save the best for last!
Sincerely, Christine Ulrich
My blog: www.chronicduo.wordpress.com
Will you be next?