CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) – A Pinellas County couple who both survived cancer are now the proud owners of a revamped Ford Bronco after more than 600 days of waiting and sharing their journey on social media.
Alison and Chris O’Grady have wanted a Ford Bronco for years.
Chris has always been a fan of Ford. Alison said that was made very clear when they first got engaged.
“He said, ‘well, we have to talk about the car you drive, because it will need to be a Ford.’ I said, ‘no problem! As long as you’re going to buy it, I’ll drive whatever you like!’” Alison said.
They started talking about the types of vehicles they would want in the future.
“And he said, ‘I’ve always wanted a Bronco. I can’t wait. I hope they’re gonna bring them back,’” Alison said.
Ford brought back the iconic Bronco in the summer of 2021, after months of delays due to coronavirus-related supplier issues.
Those issues led to the O’Grady’s 612-day journey to their Bronco, which they had already named “Rosie.”
The couple had features on their wish list for Rosie they weren’t willing to give up, despite the delays. During that time they created an Instagram account for their future Bronco, posting their journey and connecting with other future owners. With the right hashtags centered around the vehicle and Ford itself, they started making friends.
“There are so many people that we’ve become friends with that we have yet to meet in person! But now that we have Rosie, we’ll go to those meet-ups, and go to those special events,” said Alison. “It’s amazing, you feel like you already know them, because you share so much of your personal life in your Bronco journey on social media. So that has been so wonderful to meet these people that you all share that passion, you all share that Bronco love and you all have that special connection.”
The couple were finally about to pick Rosie up from Walker Ford in Clearwater on Friday. The vehicle was moved on a train and the O’Gradys were given tracking information to follow along.
“And we knew when she arrived in Tampa a week ago Friday night. And we actually drove to the rail yard and looked through the fence and saw them offloading Broncos, and we were like so excited,” Alison said.
She said she was in tears when she first saw it. The couple’s first weekend with Rosie was “amazing.”
“Getting up during the night and checking out the window, making sure everything was good, it wasn’t a figment of my imagination that she was finally here. But just sitting in her, I mean I would go outside and just sit in her and get used to all the new electronics and the technology that is just amazing,” she said.
The couple are aware that it may seem strange to others, but Alison said it was amazing to have something to look forward to after they had been through so much fighting cancer.
“Some people think we’re a little crazy, but when you’ve had cancer and you have had that adjustment in your attitude and your vision on life, it just brings the simple things right to heart,” she said. “That’s how it is with Rosie and Chris and I. This is something that we’re going to enjoy and… we appreciate every day because we are survivors… There are better days ahead. And the better days for us are going to be in Rosie. And he even lets me drive her!
“Once in a while,” Chris said.
“So that’s good!” Alison replied.
You can follow the O’Gradys adventures in Rosie on Instagram. They already have plans to cruise throughout the state.
“Some people when they get older, they travel. For us, it’s a dream vehicle,” said Alison.