A local truck shop in Harker Heights teamed up with a crowd of eager volunteers to clean up cars on Sunday afternoon to help a Killeen boy battling cancer.
All kinds of cars ranging from trucks, bicycles and Ford Mustangs lined up at the Lift Kingz truck shop at 305 W. Central Texas Expressway to get their vehicles squeaky clean in support of a good cause.
The Herald has followed the story of 3-year-old Rory Paul, who was diagnosed with a brain stem tumor. Last month, Rory and his family took a trip to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, where he underwent surgery to remove the tumor, which had grown back after another surgery several months earlier. That life-saving trip wasn’t cheap, leading to a wonderful display of community outreach from the people of Killeen and the surrounding area, and it’s amazing to see how many people reach out to make sure he always has a special day, his family said .
In June, a parade of trucks passed Rory’s house. Many filled the grounds of a local school in their vehicles, which were part of various car groups consisting of motorcycles, Dodge Chargers and big-wheel trucks, which Rory loves most.
Sunday was nothing less than that, but always a little extra. Pickups, sports cars, motorcycles, and members of the Stang Syndicate, a Ford Mustang car group, all joined in and gathered around a brave little boy. Nintendo’s Mario even made an appearance.
Proceeds from the car wash benefit Rory and his road to recovery. His mother, Ashley Manwiller, gave the Herald an update on Rory’s condition. At the moment, the 3-year-old uses a wheelchair to help him get around, but will soon have leg braces to help him stand up and walk with more support. While some of his mobility has been compromised, Manwiller said Rory still finds ways to get around, such as rolling in the backyard and using his upper-body strength to propel. Rory’s own strength is also bolstered by the strength of a smart community, which Manwiller says is so generous and always ready to help.