Twelve years ago, California resident Lisa Koehnen was diagnosed with breast cancer; after undergoing painful chemotherapy and radiation, she was also diagnosed with lymphoma. Today, Koehnen is a cancer survivor and an advocate for awareness about the disease, which claims the lives of about 40,000 women a year in the United States. “Cancer changes you, it changes the way you look at life,” Koehnen says. “Because of my experience I try to give back the best way that I can.”
Which is how Koehnen came to raise over $30,000 for cancer research and care in September as the winning bidder of the first 2017 Volkswagen #PinkBeetle sold in the U.S. Proceeds from her winning bid will support the efforts of FAB-U-WISH and The Pink Agenda to raise money for breast cancer research and care, including granting wishes to women undergoing breast cancer treatment.
“When I saw the #PinkBeetle on Charitybuzz, I immediately fell in love with it,” she said. “I had never seen anything cuter. Then when I saw the cause it was supporting, it was a no-brainer entering the auction.”
Three weeks after the auction, Lisa received her #PinkBeetle from the Chico Volkswagen dealership in Northern California. The vehicle, now named Zippy, has become another member of the Koehnen family.
The #PinkBeetle is the first Volkswagen for the family from Glenn, Calif. With its fuchsia metallic paint and interior design features, the vehicle has quickly become the family’s new favorite vehicle. Lisa’s daughter, a soon-to-be college freshman, has her heart set on driving to college in mom’s new car.
Koehnen says she’s a secret car enthusiast: “I have been collecting American muscle cars from the first car I owned, and let me tell you, I have not experienced smoother driving than with my #PinkBeetle. Whenever I get behind the wheel of that car, I feel like I am free to be me.”