Have the tissues ready for this one. A man with terminal cancer had his final bucket list wish come true on Wednesday, when he took delivery of his very own Tesla Model 3. Thanks to a combination of efforts from the Tesla fan community and the company, the man is officially one of the first people outside of Tesla to receive the $35,000 electric car, which entered production in limited quantities this July.
It all started on November 10, when Tesla Motors Club forum users were discussing a rumor that Model 3 deliveries for non-employees could start as soon as that month.
“Graniteds,” a user on the forum — who didn’t share his name — shared his story:
Well, I’d love to see November deliveries! i have a terminal stage 4 cancer and have been told I may only 3-4 months to live. The last thing on my bucket list is our Model 3 and I’d like to have a few days to experience and enjoy it. I wonder if there is any flexibility in the [queue]?
He explained that he had Chondrosarcoma, a rare cancer that is diagnosed in around 600 patients each year in the United States.
Around 10 days later, Ryan McCaffrey, an editor at IGN and noted Tesla Model 3 fan, tipped off Bonnie Norman about the post, an angel investor for Stack Lighting.
“I had to convince him to give me his contact information,” Norman said. “I’M NOT A SCAMMER, dammit!!”
Norman spoke to her friend Devina Singh, who works for human resources at Tesla, and the wheels were set in motion. Just over two weeks after making the post, “Graniteds” got to try out a Model 3:
The day after he got to try out the car, Norman sent photos and the story to Tesla. The following day, November 27, he was given access to the configuration page, where buyers can customize their vehicle and add features like enhanced autopilot, premium seats and their choice of color.
On Wednesday, he took delivery of the car, as part of a wide-ranging factory tour with a personal demonstration from Jon McNeill:
And here is the finished vehicle:
“Graniteds” is among the first to receive a car that CEO Elon Musk hopes will bring the company’s electric vehicles to a wider audience, thanks to its low price and a widespread network of high-powered charging stations. Thanks to the dedication of a group of fans and Tesla itself, he got to fulfil his dream and experience this vision of the future.