August 29, 2019
A Ride to Remember: John Bruns
John Bruns isn't exactly a race car fan, but the EveryStep Hospice patient does like cars.
It's a passion he shares with his daughter, Rachel, and one that was evident as John walked around a pace car at the Iowa Speedway recently.
The 57-year-old Greenfield resident, along with his wife, Pam, daughters, Rachel and Brenna, and their significant others, made the trip to Newton recently as part of a wish facilitated by John's EveryStep Hospice care team in Osceola.
John, who suffers from renal failure, had mentioned his desire to see a race at the Iowa Speedway to his hospice massage therapist, Connie. She then emailed EveryStep social worker Tonya Pierson, who reached out to the speedway.
While the 2019 race season had already ended, the Speedway staff offered to provide John with a free tour of the facilities and a ride in a pace car. The EveryStep Foundation also gifted the family with gas cards and money for lunch following the outing.
The family quickly made plans for the nearly two-hour trip to Newton.
On a recent rainy morning, John, Pam, Rachel, her boyfriend Chase, Brenna and her boyfriend Sebastian piled into the family van to head to Newton.
What followed was an extensive tour of the race track, club level, tower and other facilities. To cap off the tour, John and Rachel were invited to ride in one of the Speedway's pace cars, a 2018 Chevrolet Camaro.
"I can't believe that happened and I got to see it," John said.
Over the years, racing has been part in John’s life, Pam notes.
The couple volunteered at the Greater Des Moines Ruan Grand Prix shortly after they were married. John's nephew, who passed away earlier this year, was an avid race fan, Pam notes, adding that may have played a part in John’s desire to see the Speedway.
"That was something on his mind," Pam says.
Following the tour and ride, the family enjoyed lunch and talked about how much they enjoyed the afternoon.
"He was excited," Pam recalls. "He was so excited, that was all he talked about on the way home."
Seeing the smile on her husband and daughters' faces was a memory Pam won't soon forget.
"I couldn't be more happy with EveryStep," Pam says. "Everyone has been so kind. I didn't know they granted wishes, and this means a lot to us. It's been wonderful."
To help fund patient wishes and their quality of life, please consider a gift to EveryStep Foundation at everystep.org/donate.