SAN ANTONIO — It's a story that never gets old for Manny Diotte.
"I run into parents all the time – man, my kid was a Ferrari Kid a year ago, and they still talk about it," said Manny Diotte, founder of The Ferrari Kid.
He runs local nonprofit, the Ferrari Kid. His title – chief memory maker.
"When I get to see someone happy – I get to, um, I going to cry. I get emotional," he said.
Diotte was diagnosed with cancer at the early age of 7. Doctors only gave him months to live.
"I was scared to death for a good part of my life," said Diotte.
Pictured: Manny Diotte.
But he miraculously overcame the odds. At age 18, he was sent to Los Angeles after chemo and radiation complications.
"And this guy is letting me take pictures of his car, and I’m forgetting why I’m in LA. I’m forgetting I’m about to see a doctor that’s going to determine if I’m going to live or die," he said.
That moment, the simple joy of taking a photo with a red Ferrari would change his life.
"That made me feel amazing, and thank God, because now I dedicate my life’s work to creating amazing feelings," he said.
For six years, the Ferrari Kid has been helping make memories for children coping with cancer and other illnesses.
"We talk about the Ferraris that are priceless or that they have a value, but these kid’s lives are priceless," he said.
Through his organization, Diotte has helped more than a thousand children from all over.
"That’s just kids, that doesn’t include siblings and families, aunts and uncles and people who come together to serve them and celebrate that day with them."
Diotte says it’s become his life mission.
"It’s hard to lose a child. We’ve lost 12 Ferrari kids, and we have two kids right now that are now doing well at all. That even though we go through a storm, like the loss of a child. That my work is not done, because there’s more kids suffering. And though, it’s tragic as it is losing a child – I can’t stop what God’s given me, my life’s purpose and work till my last breath of air," he said.