Dad Of The Year Is Selling His WRX STI To Pay For Daughter's Stem Cell Therapy

Photo: craigslist

Jonathan Corbett from New York loves his Subaru WRX STI. But he loves his daughter more. In what comes off at first as a typical Craigslist ad, he closes by mentioning the car for sale is to raise money for stem cell therapy that he hopes will help heal his 5-year-old daughter’s brain, which suffered damage during birth.

As America debates how best to cover people’s health care needs, it’s a reminder of what some people—even diehard gearheads like us—will do to help the people they love.


Jonathan’s daughter Colleen was born in October, 2011 after an arduous 22 hour delivery that required the use of a vacuum, and that ultimately resulted in a blood infection and subsequent blood transfusion, subdural hematoma (bleeding of the brain), and two major seizures.

With injuries to her left and right frontal lobes, Colleen has since been diagnosed with level two cerebral palsy and bilateral hearing loss, and may also have “cortical visual impairment.” She regularly has seizures, and to get around, she uses a walker and a wheelchair.

But despite all that, Jonathan told Jalopnik his daughter is a fighter who loves music, and who’s never afraid to show that she’s a “sassy, stubborn, loving cuddle bug.”

Colleen. Photo by Jonathan.

As for the Subaru (a hatchback that the car enthusiast chose a year and a half ago in part because it could carry his daughter’s wheelchair and other equipment), it’s on its way out to help pay for stem cell therapy that’s being offered by a clinic near Los Angeles. This $6,500 treatment, Jonathan told me over the phone, uses stem cells from umbilical cord blood to fix damaged cells or to grow new ones.

Jonathan says that, even though he has a Youcaring support site, the $7,500ish he’d get from selling the Subi (he still owes over $12,000 on the car) could help get his daughter care more quickly, and it could also fend off some of those bills in the mailbox.

Photo: craigslist

Jonathan’s Craigslist posting—in which he mentions his daughter’s condition only briefly at the end—describes a true enthusiast’s car with a number of performance modifications, including a Cobb downpipe, SPT Exhaust, Cobb Accessport, and Eibach sway bars. They all seem like quality, sensible mods, and definitely not the work of a boyracer STI owner only looking to throw down mega power numbers.

Craigslist (screengrab)

To help me verify the story, Jonathan put me in touch with Colleen’s elementary school one-on-one assistant, who had nothing but praise for Jonathan and his “beautiful and sweet little girl.”


Therapy for that “beautiful and sweet little girl” is worth offloading a 305-horsepower, all-wheel drive rally machine—of that there is no doubt. Still, it’s never easy getting rid of a car, especially one as great as the last-generation WRX STI, and especially one that you’ve hooned around Watkins Glen (see photo below). So this move speaks volumes about this guy’s dad-ing skills.

Photo of Jonathan at Watkins Glenn. Photo by Jonathan.

So if anyone near Camillus, New York is looking for a tastefully modified WRX STI, now’s your chance. At $20,000, it actually seems like a good deal from a very good dad.

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About the author

David Tracy

Sr. Technical Editor, Jalopnik. Always interested in hearing from auto engineers—email me. Cars: Willys CJ-2A ('48), Jeep J10 ('85), Jeep Cherokee ('79, '91, '92, '00), Jeep Grand Cherokee 5spd ('94).