A Young Car Lover’s Wish


On May 2nd at the Prairie Meadows Event Center, the organization known as Make-A-Wish Iowa held their ‘Horses, Hats, and Hope Gala’. Jerod Kessler, Willis Auto Campus’ finance director, attended the event and as fate would have it, met Miller Banse–car lover.


Jared and Miller’s meeting, in Jared’s own words:

We met Miller (Banse) at the Make a Wish Gala at Prairie Meadows on May 2nd . We were sitting at the Willis table which happened to be right next to Miller’s table. Miller was the featured story and before dinner my wife and Miller had started talking and he was telling her he loved cars & that (MINIs) were one of his favorites, of course my wife was quick to introduce us. Even before they had showed his clip we had exchanged info & told his parents to bring Miller by sometime and we would go for a ride.”

Miller was the featured story that evening because he had been diagnosed with hypoplastic left heart syndrome–a rare congenital heart defect that caused the left side of Miller’s heart to underdevelop, forcing the right side of the heart to pump blood to the lungs and the rest of his body. He has already completed a series of three surgeries to help the condition, but according to his father–Nathan–there will come a time when Miller requires a heart transplant. It could be soon, or it could be all the way into his twenties or thirties before the time comes.


But on July 8th, Miller didn’t have to think about any of that. Along with his mother, Jodi, Miller came to Willis Auto Campus and met with his new friend Jared. Jared took him for a ride in a few fun cars–including the Jaguar F-TYPE Coupe, Lexus RC 350, and of course Miller’s favorite, the MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop.


Thank you to Nathan and Jodi Banse for allowing us to share Miller’s story, and thank you to Jamie Rasko of Make-A-Wish Iowa for everything you do for Iowa’s children. We hope Miller had a memorable visit to Willis!

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