Laps 5 and 49

27 Jul

Last night, we were at the Anderson Speedway in Anderson, Indiana during the inaugural running of the Anderson 400. Laps 5 and 49 were sponsored in memory of Sammy by JNB Motorsports. JNB Motorsports consists of Josh and Bruce Timmerman. Josh’s mother, Debbie, was one of Sammy’s home-health nurses, and for the past two seasons, Josh has used his race truck to help raise awareness of HPE by displaying the Families for HoPE logo.

Last summer, Sammy was invited to Anderson Speedway to watch Josh race. To take Sammy to a race was definitely outside of our comfort zone, and there were a lot of questions we had to ask ourselves.

  • Sammy already had many seizures each day so how would he react to a loud, stimulating race track?
  • What about mosquitos and temperature once the sun went down?
  • Where would we sit and could we maneuver his wheelchair?
  • What if a piece of debris were to fly up and into our direction?
  • Who in their right mind would take their child with a trach to a dirty racetrack?

It took a lot of thought and planning, but we decided to give it a try. Early in Sammy’s life, Steve and I decided that we would try to give him as many opportunities and experiences as we could, so we took a deep breath and made plans to go racing. True to Sammy’s “predictibly unpredictible” style, he proved to us that he LOVED the entire experience–the louder and dirtier, the better! By the end of the season, Sammy had attended at least three different races.

This season, Sammy’s life has been remembered through a memorial tribute on the tailgate of Josh’s truck. As he puts in laps around the track, Sammy’s legacy lives on. The entire Timmerman family has been a wonderful support to us, and they have been there with us and for us time and time again over course of these past few years. When the opportunity presented itself for named sponsorships for the Anderson 400, they surprised us by sponsoring two laps in honor of Sammy’s memory and the gesture truly touched our hearts.

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