work ethic


People are applauding the dad who bought a Mustang for his teenage son living with cancer

“Dad, I’m going to squeeze a few extra months of life just to be able to drive this.”

A 2020 Mustang.

Many parents swear that a child’s first car should be a “beater.” First, it teaches them to have something to strive for in life. Second, the kid will probably put some nicks and scratches on the car, so it’s best to start with something where no one will care. Third, the insurance will be cheaper.

Finally, a kid should have to earn having nice things and starting them off with a brand new Mercedes isn’t going to instill much work ethic.

Even though a large number of parents say a teen’s first car should be a clunker, many are applauding Joe Tegerdine, a father in Springville, Utah, and his wife Kerry for buying their son Joseph, 18, a 330-horsepower 2020 Ford Mustang.

Unfortunately, Joseph has osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer and has already outlived his prognosis.

Joseph was working at Sodalicious in hopes of saving up enough money for a Mustang, but time was running out for him to reach his goal and still have the time to enjoy the car. His father shared the reason why he bought the car on X, where it received nearly 14 million views. “For those wondering why I’d buy my 18yr old son a 330hp Mustang, well, he’s been given months to live and can’t work long enough to buy one himself,” the father wrote. “His comment on the way home, ‘Dad, I’m going to squeeze a few extra months of life just to be able to drive this.’

“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 [the Mustang],” he said, according to SWNS.

“He was so excited. He told me he wants to squeeze out a few extra months of life to drive the car,” Joe continued. “He really wants to live life to the fullest. He is not interested in spending the last few months hooked up to machines.”

In 2019, when Joseph was 13, he began complaining of pains in his knee and it made sense because he was an active athlete who played football and ran track and field. When he went in for an X-ray and then an MRI, he was diagnosed with bone cancer and started chemotherapy 10 days later. In 2022, Joseph would undergo a leg amputation and it was found the cancer spread to his lungs and hip.

Joseph’s uncertain future has brought out the best in the family, inspiring them to make the most out of their time with their son. Their commitment is a reminder for all of us to appreciate the people we have in our lives because you never know what the future holds.

"When my son was first diagnosed, I had to make a decision. Either curse God and die or try to make the best of a really bad situation. With the perspective of what it would be like to experience sudden loss, I decided to be grateful. Grateful that we’ve had the 18 years to build memories and enjoy him," Joe wrote on X. "Even now, with the only treatments left to prolong life and manage pain, I’m thankful he’s still with us, squeezing out the best that life can offer under less than ideal circumstances. My heart is still broken, but I know it could be a lot worse."

Recently, the family has been making the most of their time with trips to Tokyo, Japan, Los Angeles to see Taylor Swift and Florida to swim with dolphins. After Joe’s tweet about the Mustang went viral, Ford CEO Jim Farley invited Joseph to visit Ford Performance Racing School, which he plans to attend in April.

"If you look at my day-to-day life, it's about as ideal as it gets. I've got my dream car. I have a family that I love, a girlfriend that I hang out with all the time and that I love, I play piano, which I love, I read books that I personally pick on topics that interest me. It's fantastic," Joseph told Today.com. "Feeling fulfilled in the future is the hard part," he said. "But I've managed to make my day-to-day life fulfilling for however long I have."