Seller Story: In Memory of Debbie Walter:
1965 Thunderbird for the Ovarian Cancer Alliance
In 2014, Andy Walter was scrolling through EBTH and came across a 1965 Ford Thunderbird he thought would be fun to restore for his son. “You’re going to be in so much trouble with mom!” his son replied, when Walter relayed that he had won it. But Andy had a larger plan. His wife Debbie had recently been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and the couple had become active in the Ovarian Cancer Alliance of Greater Cincinnati. Wouldn’t it be great if they could restore the car, and use it to raise awareness and funds for the disease?
For a year, a team of professionals volunteered their time to turn the vehicle into a hot rod, embarking in a frame-off restoration and implementing custom leather interior, audio system, paint, a new engine and air ride suspension. Once completed, the Walters unveiled the hot rod at the Cavalcade of Customs at the Cincinnati Convention center in 2016. For the next year, they toured with it at various car shows, using it as a way to grab people’s attention and educate them about ovarian cancer. “There were all of these husbands who had dragged their wives to the shows, and they would come by our car and we’d say, ‘Ma’am, this is for you,” recalls Andy. “And we’d hand out symptom cards. Unfortunately, it’s a cancer that you can’t test for, so you have to be aware of the symptoms.” When they auctioned the Thunderbird in a raffle for the Ovarian Cancer Alliance’s charity walk, the winner opted to take a lesser cash amount and let the car go on to a larger charity auction.
After a valiant 4-year fight, Debbie passed away in November of last year. To bring the story full circle and honor her, Andy decided to return to EBTH and auction the Thunderbird with proceeds benefiting the alliance. One hundred percent of proceeds in this sale will go to the organization,which raises money for research and survivor support, and of which his wife was co-chair. “I will continue to make it my mission,” says Andy, of his fight for sufferers and survivors of the disease. “We want to keep Debbie’s mission alive.”