Michael McDonough of northeast Iowa was the recipient of a Featherlite livestock trailer at Make-a-Wish® Iowa’s Gala held in Dubuque, Iowa on March 7, 2020. The Dubuque Gala also served as a celebration of Make-a-Wish Iowa’s 4000th wish.
Michael was diagnosed with Stevens-Johnson syndrome, a rare disorder affecting the skin that often results due to a side effect from medications. Michael was on medication to help with epilepsy. What ensued was a nearly year-long battle of this rare disease. What often gave him comfort and hope during this journey was his love for showing cattle and his desire for a new livestock trailer.
Michael was selected by Make-A-Wish Iowa to have his wish of a new livestock trailer granted. And that’s where Featherlite became involved in helping to bring his wish to life. Thanks to feedback from Michael and his family, a Model 8127 stock trailer was custom designed and built to fit his wishes.
“We were very excited and honored to be contacted by Make-A-Wish Iowa and to learn more about Michael’s story and how we could get involved in continuing to grow his passion for showing cattle,” Justin Queensland, Featherlite Trailers Vice President – General Manager, said.
Michael and his family toured the Featherlite manufacturing facility in late February where his trailer would be built. Once in production, special attention was given to Michael’s trailer as it moved down the manufacturing line. An Iowa State Cyclones flag, representing his favorite team, was hung from the trailer so everyone could easily identify Michael’s trailer.
“Thanks goes out to all the Featherlite employees that helped to build Michael’s trailer, as well as to Featherlite Graphics for their unique work in making Michael’s trailer extra special,” Queensland said. “We surprised Michael by not only finishing the trailer earlier than he expected, but we also added a few extra touches to it to really make it stand out.”
Those extras included additional exterior lighting, a painted roof rail and a polished exterior. “Michael’s trailer will shine when he pulls into his next livestock show,” Queensland said. “Michael is a great young man who according to Make-A-Wish had one of the more unique wishes they can recall. He definitely deserves a unique trailer.”
Featherlite representatives were on hand at the Dubuque Gala to see the surprise unveiling of the Featherlite stock trailer to Michael and his family. “It was an honor to represent Featherlite and be a part of Make-A-Wish Iowa’s 4000th wish,” Queensland said. “There are a number of volunteers and donors across the state, including Smith Home Gallery & Cabinet Works in Dubuque, that help to bring these wishes to life. Again, we’re so proud to have been a part of Michael’s wish story.”
Learn more about Michael’s story in the following video, courtesy of Make-A-Wish Iowa.