Thursday, May 19, 2016

Giving An Opportunity For Children To Thrive, That's Our Checkered Flag

On the racetrack the fastest car usually gets the checkered flag. In the world of children's health, the Speediatrics Children's Fund, an initiative of The NASCAR Foundation, strives to provide much needed health care and assistance to children who need it the most by putting children's health in first place.

At The NASCAR Foundation, we are able to fuel good health for children by sponsoring camp weekends at magical places like VictoryJunction. Special Families recently attended the Speediatrics Family Weekend at Victory Junction, a medically safe camp for children with serious medical conditions, located in Randleman, NC.

Mom & Dad, Andrea and Francis joined their kids Sam (age 13), Colton (age 12), and Maxwell (age 9) for a weekend of fun which included - among other things - archery, fishing, visiting the barn animals and horseback riding.

During the Speediatrics Family Weekend, Speediatrics stars "Chase and Curves" (mascots designed after the racing stars on the track) welcomed campers and made a special appearance at stage night. The NASCAR employees even got in on the act by decorating special Speediatrics themed welcome banners to adorn the family cabins. Conton's family has placed their welcome banner at home in a place of honor in their living room with other treasured Victory Junction memorabilia.

Andrea describes how important camp weekends are by saying, "Without the support of people like you and places like Victory Junction, Colton would be missing out on that whole part of childhood. It's very humbling to see him letting loose and just being a kid having a great time, especially when you know where he's coming from." Colton has been diagnosed with a heart defect that has led to five surgeries, a pacemaker and over 200 hospital admissions so far in his short 12 years of life. Something that no parent or child should ever have to cope with.

This is where a camp experience provided by the Speediatrics Children's Fund can make all the difference. A lifestyle program funded by the Speediatrics Children's Fund offeres an opportunity for a child to thrive and go full speed ahead in leading a happier, healthier life.

When describing how important the camp experience is to Colton, Andrea says, "I think it is really the only opportunity he's had to go and be independent and try himself out as being a kid who doesn't have to explain himself and the background that brought him to camp. Everybody just understands."

Let's not forget the ripple effect on all members of the family. Andrea points out the pretty difficult life they lead with doctors' appointments, on top of usual responsibilities, saying "to be able to go away for a weekend and think about nothing other than playing with one another, learning about each other and what makes us tick is a good opportunity."

In the last 10 years, the Foundation has provided camping experiences for over 1,600 kids with serious medical conditions. Andrea says, "my kids look forward to the weekend at camp all year. They are already talking about next year and planning out their stage night routines." With the generous support of fans across the country, The NASCAR Foundation continues to provide an opportunity for kids to be kids. And putting children's health in first place is what we consider our checkered flag!

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