So your best friend calls you up, and says he’s going to do a BBQ Fundraiser. He doesn’t have to ask you if you want to help, he knows the answer. He just has to tell you where and when it is. Now here is the thing, your best friend is in the trenches of his own troubles in life, but still gives everything he can give to help others. How can you not support someone like that? This fundraiser is for a little girl, born with a broken heart, and her family that is even with health insurance is completely overcome with debt to pay the medical expenses. How much can one small group of people do? It really doesn’t matter, even a $1 that they don’t have, helps!
Fast forward to the day of the BBQ Fundraiser, anyone that has cooked for a lot of people with a small army of volunteers knows it’s not easy. It was a CRAZY busy day, and many of us were really tired, but we were driven by the knowledge it was for this little girl, her heart, and her family. I finally took a time out from all the running around to get some food myself, and rest my angry feet. While I took that moment, I got a chance to meet this little girl named Brooklynn, she was very shy. I even got down on my knee, as I know the 6 foot 3 inch giant can be very scary to a little thing like that. I tried to say hi to her, but couldn’t coax her out of hiding behind her mom’s legs…
Brooklynn’s mom Tracy & I got into conversation about the experience of what the Congenital Heart Defect, which Brooklynn was born with has done to her. She was now working on a non-profit to help raise awareness for it. It’s My Heart – Austin was her work, basically by herself to honor her daughter, and their biggest challenge was having funds to do anything to raise awareness. In this conversation, I expressed I was going to do something to help even more than this BBQ Fundraiser that day, as the debt was still nowhere near paid.
This is where Hero’s enter the scene, because I couldn’t have even started to do what I wanted without their help. Terry & Joey Tschoerner, from Terry’s Body Shop in Taylor Texas, Don Painter and Leanna Knous, from Browning Auto Part’s. Without them, the #50 would have never made it to the track, the countless shop hours at Terry’s body Shop, converting my old Thunder Stock to San Antonio Speedway Charger rules. Browning Auto Parts making sure the costs and Funding for Tires & race day expenses doesn’t take away from the goals.
So wait I am going to a VERY fast, high banked track that I have never raced at and pretty much no idea what I am doing. I don't have much time to learn as practice is short. Oh let me mention that another driver wrecked in practice right in front of where we were pitted. I will just describe his car after this wreck as an obtuse Triangle instead of a sporty rectangle. Thank you Anthony & Russell Gordon on helping me with step up, to help with putting me on the spot with handing and how to get around this monster. A monster that likes to eat racecars when drivers make mistakes. Was I scared pulling onto this strange race track, in a car that I wasn't sure of, OHHH YEAH!! I put it on the internet what I was doing, so I better get over this quick, as there is no time to chicken out!
There are a lot of other thank you's to put out there, my race day crew, Ryan, John, Janice, Brandie. Along with the Staff at San Antonio speedway, Rodney, Debbie, Nathan, Brian. Thank you for SAS giving passes to Brooklynn and her family to join us for this night, that's where this story gets special. Even a bigger THANK YOU to all the people that have donated, and continue to donate toward Brooklynn's needs thru this portal: www.gofundme.com/BrooklynnsHeart
Here is this 3yr old little girl, fresh off of her 2nd, Yes SECOND! Open heart surgery to mend her broken heart. March 5th, Brooklynn's life was in the hands of the talented doctors and God. This Brave little girl, came thru with flying colors, April 20th she is sitting in the stands with her family and you would have never known anything was even wrong with her. Her Smile for enjoying the races was priceless! It got cold that night, and it got late, and she stuck it out thru all of this.
So what did I learn from all of this that changed my life forever? Look at the smile on this girl’s face, with all the pain that she & her family have been thru. Do you see pain? Do you see scared? I don't see pain, I see a little girl and her family grateful for one of gods BIG, little miracles. Life could be very short, don't waste a single day. Do what makes you happy, because happiness is not a pursuit, it’s a state of mind. Enjoying what you have, because you never know when you will not have it.
Tracy Brooklynn's mom has a blog, and wrote in it about her experience, this was part of her closing statement: "I hope that one day I'll be able to do something for all of the people that have been so generous and selfless in helping us"
Find her whole blog here: http://www.tracyandbrooklynn.blogspot.com/search?updat
I want to be very clear in my reply to this, there is no debt to be paid for
those that have helped you. They help because your little angel is stronger than all of us hope to be some days. We didn't just help you in your journey, you have helped us in ours. Today, I stand in a snow storm in New Hampshire, Proudly wearing my Brooklynn T-shirt & Red!