Teen with brain cancer receiving his dream truck

Published: May. 24, 2011 at 9:43 PM HST|Updated: May. 24, 2011 at 10:16 PM HST
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Jacob Edralin
Jacob Edralin

By Steve Uyehara – bio | email

WAIPAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Jacob Edralin is getting his ride pimped.

He's the former Waipahu high school student who discovered he had brain cancer.

The 16 year old and his dad bought an old Nissan truck.

And thanks to Dan Dutra and the crew from SIGS body shop his dream truck is coming together, and so is his life.

The guys at SIGS let do some of the work himself.

But keep in mind, he's been undergoing radiation treatment every day.

He's constantly tired and nauseous, but he lives for this.

"Dan gives me a little text, it's the highlight of my day, you know," said Jacob. "Oh yeah!" he exclaims throwing his hands in the air as if he just got one of those texts. "I'm going in today!"

Ola Medeiros works at SIGS and is one of the many crew members who have been helping Jacob.

Jacob knows his way around a car, but he hasn't had the excessive day-to-day training that these guys have.

"That's okay. That's alright my brother," Ola tells Jacob when he sees him get a little frustrated. "You should've seen when I first started."

In week one, they remove the bumper and the fender and start to experiment with a color.

"This is a pearl," says Dan Dutra, co-owner of SIGS, pointing at a one of the possible choices. "The pearl flakes are semi- translucent. They're coated so when the sun hits it, it breaks up into a spectrum and reflects in multiple colors."

When we arrive in week two, the truck is jacked up. The goal now is getting the bed off.

Jacob hasn't reacted well to radiation. In fact he's having trouble keeping food down.

He's got a feeding tube attached to his face, but he's determined to help out.

Once all the bolts are out, the bed pops right off. This is the only way to get to that corrosion.

In fact, the whole panel that flushes up against the cab, that needs to go.

So, in comes Calvin Shiroma and his air chisel.

When week three rolls around, Jacob is tweaking his choice of color going with "rattlesnake" which is a bit darker.

His feeding tube is out and he's feeling better.

The truck is now fully gutted and has been moved off to the side of the building.

After a quick lesson, Jacob gets in there and starts grinding off rust with one of the power tools.

"Jacob is mechanically inclined," said Dan. "So while he may not know how to work on body work as opposed to just mechanical work, he catches on really quick. Tell him once and he goes with it. I'm impressed."

Once the surface is cleaned they still have one patch of metal they need to weld onto the truck.

So, here comes Calvin again.

Because of some minor setbacks, it'll be a few weeks before the project is done, but maybe that's a good thing.

Each week Jacob gets more excited. Each visit lifts his spirits.

"It's like when a planet is being born it's nothing," says Jacob. "It's just black and dark. Then all of a sudden, there's a big bang and it's just beautiful."

Jacob just finished radiation treatment last week. Doctors say he needs to wait three weeks to let the swelling go down. Then they can take an MRI to see if the tumor is gone.

RELATED STORY: Rebuilding old truck helps young cancer patient.

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