GASPORT, N.Y. — Meghan Redenbach exuded courage and strength in her two-year battle with cancer. When she was diagnosed in 2009 with a rare form of ovarian cancer at the age of 13, she told her dad, Mike, to "man up" when he became emotional about her struggle.
"Meghan was a courageous young girl. She really inspired a lot of people," said Mike.
She was grateful for the generosity and support she was shown during her cancer fight, so in 2010 she left her parents with one dying wish.
"Before she passed away she asked us if we could take care of the kids like they took care of her, which leads us to the car show," said Meghan's mom Nancy.
The Man Up Car and Bike Show is now in its 10th year. Meghan's parents give all the proceeds to causes close to Meghan's heart including Courage of Carly at Roswell Park, scholarships for graduating seniors in the Royalton-Hartland School District, and WNY Make-A-Wish Foundation which gave Meghan and her family a Hawaiian vacation before she passed.
"It just means so much to have Wish parents continue to honor their daughter's memory by helping "wish it forward" and help us grant more life-changing wishes for families in our community," said Mary Hazel of WNY Make-A-Wish.
The Redenbachs have turned their pain into purpose. After this year's car show, the Redenbachs expect they will have donated a total of $150,000 in honor of their daughter.
The Redenbachs have also raised funds through the sale of their book, Meghan's Journey. Unbeknownst to them, Meghan wrote a few chapters with her English teacher months before she passed. That teacher worked with Nancy and used some of her own journal entries to finish the book. It's available for purchase at Barnes and Noble, and Amazon, and it will also be sold at the car show.
"I think she'd be proud of us. Meghan was a very determined young girl and I hope we're doing her proud. I really do. How she touched other people is the reason why a lot of these people are still giving back," said Mike. "People say, 'how do you do it? How do you get through with losing a child?' What we say is, 'we surround ourselves with great people and that helps us.'"
For more information about the Man Up Car & Bike Show being held Sunday, July 18 at the East Amherst Fire Hall, click here. It was originally set to take place Saturday, July 17; but got pushed back a day due to the weather forecast.