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'Our little miracle': Gilbert teen with special needs takes birthday ride with Lightning McQueen

Porter Knapp has endured brain surgeries and countless seizures. But that didn't stop him from hitting the road on his 16th birthday.

GILBERT, Ariz. — If life is a highway, Porter Knapp’s has taken a lot of twists and turns.

"He’s our little miracle," Porter's father Mark said. "He had his first seizure at 8 months old. Second seizure a week later and third seizure three days after that."

Those seizures led to brain surgeries. The first came before Porter was two years old. His last was when he was six.  

His parents, Mark and Lisa, were told he had epilepsy with cognitive delay.

"At one point we were told he was a poster child for SUDEP - sudden unexplained death in epilepsy patients," Mark explained. "We’ve never taken a day for granted with him because we never know how long we’re going to have him."

That includes Monday, which was Porter’s 16th birthday. 

To his surprise, a car rolled up that looked just like Lightning McQueen from the movie "Cars," one of Porter's favorites.

"He said, 'Mama - fast car?'" Lisa said. "And I said, 'I know! It’s here!'"

It turned out that one of Porter’s therapists had a mutual friend with a car wrapped just like Lightning McQueen. And that man was willing to not just drive by Porter's place, but to give him a ride, too.

His family shared videos with 12 News of Porter riding along in the passenger seat, having a blast while singing along with the radio.

"We knew how he loves fast cars," Lisa said. "We knew he would never get his driver’s license, so, at 16 what do I want to give him is a ride in a fast car."

An unforgettable gift for a kid who’s been just that to his family.

"It gives you faith in humanity again," Lisa said. "In this world, it’s important to find the good and Porter helps us find the good every day."

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