Dream drive a welcome surprise

Cancer patient Jared Noel can't stop smiling as he prepares to take wife Hannah for a drive in his dream car, a 2013 Audi A4 Allroad Quattro, in Dunedin yesterday. Photo by Stephen Jaquiery.A dying man's wish has been granted in Dunedin.

Jared Noel (32), of Auckland, found a shiny black 2013 Audi A4 Allroad Quattro in his in-laws' Roslyn driveway yesterday morning.

Mr Noel, who has terminal cancer, has always admired Audis and longed to drive one.

So, when his wife Hannah's best friend won a raffle for the weekend use of a luxury car, she made every effort to ensure Mr Noel could cross the Audi drive off his bucket list.

And he did - with vigour.

Mr Noel yesterday took his wife for a spin in the $75,000 car.

With 2000km on the odometer, the automatic 2 litre diesel was a pleasure to drive, he said.

''Of all the cars I've ever liked, the Audi is the one I've always wanted and hoped to eventually own one day. This is great. I'll have a lot of fun driving it,'' he said.

Mr Noel was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2008 and has since undergone 66 rounds of chemotherapy and two major surgeries, but in October doctors told him the cancer had grown and he was unlikely to live past Christmas without more chemotherapy.

His main focus was to live for the birth of his first child, a girl due on January 21.

A page on fundraising website Givealittle was established recently to raise $60,000 for 10 courses of the drug Avastin, which could slow the growth of Mr Noel's tumours and prolong his life.

Within a day, almost $100,000 was donated through the page, created by Mrs Noel's best friend Anna Irving, who was also behind yesterday's Audi surprise.

Mrs Irving, of New Plymouth, and Mrs Noel (nee Ross) were born hours apart at Queen Mary Hospital and have been friends all their lives, both attending Columba College.

Mrs Irving could not be in Dunedin yesterday, but her parents and sister filmed Mr Noel's discovery of the Audi. Speaking from New Plymouth, Mrs Irving said it was a ''remarkable coincidence'' she came to receive the hospice raffle prize.

''Jared is an Audi nut and he's been talking about how much he wanted to drive an Audi, so I tried to hire one for a weekend for him in Auckland but I had no luck with dealers up there and had given up. Then I got a call from the hospice saying I had won a raffle prize for a children's bedroom makeover.

''I'm renting and didn't have any need for it, so ended up swapping prizes with the other winner, and it just so happened that prize was an Audi for a weekend,'' she said.

Mrs Irving has just moved from Palmerston North, where she won the raffle prize from the town's Armstrong Prestige dealership.

She arranged with dealership general manager Simon Jackson, originally from Dunedin, to have the Audi shipped to Dunedin for Mr Noel's use instead.

Mr Jackson flew south to pick up and deliver the car, and said the company was happy to cover the costs for such a good cause.

Mr and Mrs Noel are visiting Dunedin for the wedding today of Mrs Noel's brother James, and will return to Auckland on Christmas Eve.

Mr Noel was initially speechless when surprised by the car, then said it should suffice as wedding transport.

''I'll probably be driving in more style than the groom. It's awesome!''

- rosie.manins@odt.co.nz

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