“The people around me make me a better person”……. Dale Earnhardt Jr.By Leslie Young
Every driver has a long dry spell, some are longer than others but when you’re a Earnhardt Jr., the expectation of being a winner or loser is magnified. Race car drivers normally always give credit their team, the crew chief, the over the wall guys, the guys back at the shop, without the whole team success isn’t possible no matter what team you are on. Today Earnhardt Jr. gave credit more than once to his fans, which never stop believing in him or his ability. The fans who year after year, week after week buy tickets or watch faithfully on TV. The fans of any team in any aspect play a huge part in keeping teams alive.
Like Earnhardt Jr, many drivers find themselves giving back to their fans. They are involved in autograph signings, sponsor events and many have their own nonprofit organizations out of racing to “give back” to those less fortunate. The Dale Jr. Foundation is a charity dedicated to giving underprivileged individuals with a focus on youth, the resources to improve their confidence and education, and the opportunity to achieve extraordinary goals. The foundation supports over 300 charities nationally and locally, including Make-A-Wish Foundation, Family Promise of Cabarrus County, Speedway Children’s Charities, Ace and TJ’s GRIN Kids, Barium Springs Home for Children, VH1 Save the Music Foundation, Mooresville Soup Kitchen, and more. Without a team this foundation and many others wouldn’t exist that enable those in need to experience a better life in difficult times. Whether your Earnhardt Jr. competing for a championship run or a child trying to beat cancer for a second chance at a healthy it takes more than one person it takes a team at any level.
Team Kyle is another organization in the community of LaGrange Georgia that has been organized for Kyle Abernathy. Kyle is a 12 year old boy battling cancer for the 2nd time in 18th months. Kyle was diagnosed in Nov 2010 with Ewing sarcoma (solid tumor) in his left femur and also right lung. He had a spot in lung removed first. After 8 chemo treatments they replaced femur w/titanium, and then resumed 6 more chemo treatments. When all chemo treatments finished he had to have 10 radiation treatments on both lungs. Kyle and his family that it was over and had the port removed. Now as of First part of May 2012, the cancer is back, the right femur so far. More scans have determined the cancer is now in the right leg and has spread to other places as well. Two weeks ago the port was put back in and the Chemo has started over again. After becoming ill due to white count being low Kyle was admitted to Egleston for palettes and antibiotics and chemo will resume again tomorrow. Kyle continues to be in a lot of pain. Kyle lives with his Dad Toby and little sister in LaGrange. Kyle is a 7th grader at Lone Cane Middle School a Member of the First Baptist Church on the Square. Team Kyle is also group of family and friends making a difference this child’s life by helping him and his family during this uncertain time. A team that believes Kyle will beat this cancer and be victorious.
In the words of Earnhardt Jr., “without a crew, good people behind you and fans none of it would be possible.” This is true in any team setting whether it’s a sports team or a group of people like those rallying around Team Kyle to help this precious child and his family deals with all this the best they can. The faith of this family is inspiring and amazing even going through this for a 2nd time they are so thankful for all the love and support their “Team” as shown to them. The people who have made up Team Kyle and continue to do so isn’t much different than the 88 Team. All followers of Team Kyle love this child and his family and many of them don’t even know them. Fundraisers are being held now and throughout the summer for Team Kyle. As Jr. said today “it is the people around me that make me a better person”. Congratulations to Dale Jr, his crew and his fans for this win and the interviews that spoke about “believing, confidence and staying true to who you are and those around you that never give up”.
Please go to www.facebook.com/teamkylea and like his page. Also, follow Kyle on Twitter @kyleabernathy3. (Team Kyle).