ELLSWORTH, Maine — A 17-year-old boy from Addison was not expecting a standing ovation from the staff when he walked into a local motorsports equipment dealership Friday morning.
Nor was he expecting to leave with a brand-new all-terrain vehicle.
Brandon Trundy, a typically taciturn teen, got both things and even smiled a couple of times during a visit to Friend & Friend on Friday. Trundy, who has leukemia, knew he was getting an ATV from of Make-A-Wish Maine, which grants wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions, but he didn’t realize it was happening Friday. He just thought he was going to pick out some accessories to go with an ATV he would be getting later in the spring.
The teenager played it cool as he sat on the machine, a dark blue 2014 Honda Foreman, and talked to Friend & Friend staff about accessories and the ATV’s features. Adults who accompanied Trundy to the motorsports dealership, including his mother and some Make-A-Wish volunteers from Washington County, said they could tell he was excited.
“He keeps it pretty well hid,” Linda Seeley, a volunteer from Edmunds, said of his emotions.
Trundy’s mother, Rebecca Trundy, said her son knew something was up. The family made the trip to Ellsworth in a limo courtesy of Northeast Limousine, which is not how they usually travel.
“He kind of knew,” she said. “He’s a pretty smart kid.”
The ATV usually retails for about $9,000, according to Alex Robinson, business development manager for Friend & Friend. Make-A-Wish, he said, bought it for a steeply discounted price.
According to Make-A-Wish staff, Brandon has completed a safety training course, provided at no charge, and the organization will pay for insurance and registration on the vehicle for a year. The accessories also are part of the gift package.
Brandon, a home-schooled student, was diagnosed with leukemia in January 2013, his mother said. He has been getting regular treatment in Brewer since then and still has another two years of monthly treatments to go.
“Right now, he’s doing pretty good,” she said. “He is building his strength back.”
She said Brandon works for a local blueberry grower in the summer and for the Maine Sea Coast Mission’s Edge after-school program in the winter. The ATV, she said, will be useful for both jobs.
“He enjoys work more than anything,” Rebecca Trundy said. “I think he’s going to enjoy [the ATV].”
Brandon, pausing briefly to talk to reporters, said that getting the ATV made him feel “pretty good.” He likes to go camping and fishing, he said, and is happy to get a gift that will be useful for many years. The Sunrise Trail, he added, is not far from his house.
Brandon found out from reporters that the machine would be delivered to his house Friday afternoon.
“I’m getting it tonight? I thought I was going to have to wait until May,” he said. “Thanks!”