Our 2016 racing season kicks off today at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis with the 7th Annual Cabin Fever Championship promoted by Champion Racing Association powered by Jegs. Today also kicks off our third year of the Racing for HoPE campaign with my sponsor, Families for HoPE, Inc. In an effort to raise awareness of holoprosencephaly (HPE), we choose a child with HPE to be my ride-along partner for each race of our season.
Riding with us today is 15 year-old Alex Pizer from North Clarendon, Vermont. Alex is a very happy and enthusiastic young man who makes it very difficult for others not to smile in his presence. Alex arrived in the world two months early with a wide array of health issues to overcome including HPE. His family was warned that he might never walk, talk or function normally, and a real possibility existed that he might not live to see his first birthday. If you’ve been following the Racing for HoPE entries for a while now, you’re probably starting to see a theme . . . children with HPE have something that doctors cannot measure. That something is will and determination.
Today, Alex is delayed but is still making gains each day. Alex runs, walks, and talks with his speech improving daily through the dedication of his mom and therapists. In addition to watching NASCAR, his mom Marlana tells me that he likes to watch Fast and Furious movies along with Disney/Pixar Cars and Need for Speed. Those are some of my favorites too.
Through a page on Facebook, his mom shares videos of Alex singing and dancing to music that he loves. As he dances, you can see that he’s full of energy and happiness radiates from him. Just like so many others who know him, Alex touches my heart and inspires me.
Alex, are you ready, Big Guy? I saw a video of a racing game you played recently. Do you remember that you were behind the wheel of a yellow Jeep? I could tell then that you are a man who likes to drive fast, so tighten your safety belts and let’s go out there and have some fun!