As I sit here on the couch, I hear the voice of Sean’s ABA therapist and the sounds of Sean’s giggles and squeals coming through the monitor from Sean’s room. I think about how blessed I am to have so many people who care enough to dedicate so much of their time to my son’s development, well being, happiness and overall quality of life. I am also thinking about all the other parents that are going through such rough patches with their own children right at this very moment; some are having trouble with uncontrollable seizures, others are undergoing major surgery such as spinal fusion surgery, still others are missing their child that has been taken from them way too soon. I ponder upon my own feelings of despair, frustration, anger and sadness and how sometimes I throw myself my own “pity party” over what my everyday life entails of raising a special needs child. But I have to remind myself of how blessed I am and snap out of it because there is always someone struggling more than I am.
Just like Sean’s therapists and his teachers, some people just have a heart for others. They want to help, support and give to others who are less fortunate because they are caring and compassionate people. My dear friend, Tom Haacker is one of these people. He is someone who has gone through his own personal struggles in his life and has overcome them all through God’s good graces. He has always said that he did not know how or why he was given a second chance and now just wants to share his good fortune with others and give back when and where he can.
Tom has always had a soft spot for Sean and has gone above and beyond to help him and our family when we needed it. When I became a member of the Board of Directors for PMG Awareness, I immediately thought of asking him to help us and be a sounding board for us, so to speak. He is an experienced business man and a wealth of knowledge and had mentioned in the past about his interest with nonprofit organizations. I reached out to him but did not hear a response for many months. When he did finally call me, he apologized for taking so long as he had been busy pursing one of his passions, race car driving! Although he was off doing what he loved and traveling from state to state, PMG Awareness was not far from his mind. He brought an offer to the table that may just be the beginning of something incredibly amazing for PMG Awareness!
Tom is racing for TruSpeed Motors in the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona held in Daytona, Florida January 26-27, 2013. He told me that he would be willing to put the PMG Awareness logo on his car and have patches made for the race team and pit crew to wear on their race uniforms. He also wanted to put the names of the PMG kids on the car. This Daytona race is a huge crowd gatherer and is televised basically from start to finish, so PMG Awareness has a chance to really get our name out there! Tom also
had the manager of TruSpeed, Tyler Tadevic, contact me to go over what else we could do to raise awareness at the race. They are going to get as many of the PMG families and the children as they can, full credentials to be able to have a “behind the scenes experience” during the race and allow us to hand out our pamphlets, take donations, tell our story and raise awareness of PMG!!
Because this event is completely televised, we have a chance to be interviewed and speak on behalf of all of our families with PMG! We are still working out all of the details, but what an INCREDIBLE OPPORTUNTIY! I am so very excited and so thankful for their generosity and willingness to help our organization.
I spoke with Tom this past week and he mentioned that he was racing here locally at the Chuckwalla Valley Raceway in Desert Center, California. I spoke to my husband and we decided to go and support him. Can I just say, I have never met a nicer group of people? The guys at TruSpeed greeted us with open arms and were extremely accommodating. Tom introduced us to Tyler and even though he was very busy managing the race, he took time out when he could to speak with us.
The owner of the track, Mickey Grana, piled us all up in his truck and took us out onto the track to get another view of the track from a different perspective. It was awesome! At the end of the day, Tom ended up winning 1st place (way to go TruSpeed!) and stole the title from another driver who has won two years in a row! It was amazing to witness this accomplishment first hand.
Sean had an amazing day and was treated like royalty by the guys at TruSpeed. Mickey bought him a hat as a souvenir and a checkered flag to give to Tom after winning the race.
A lady came over and awarded Tom with the winning trophy and began talking to Sean and I. I explained to her that Sean had just received his first trophy ever a few weeks ago at his “End of the Year Soccer Party.” She immediately told me to wait there and when she returned, she awarded Sean with his own trophy as well! The look on Sean’s face was priceless! He was so excited.
He was then able to sit inside the race car which was a real highlight of his day. He smiled from ear to ear all day long and it was because of the people at TruSpeed who cared enough to make his day so special. I cannot thank them enough!
Raising special needs children is a difficult job, but so rewarding. I have learned so much from Sean, such as not taking the simplest things for granted, and that life is a gift. People like Tom, and the others at TruSpeed, are one in a million. They know our children are true and beautiful gifts from above and they are devoted to helping our kids have the quality of life they deserve. I am so honored to have them on our side and for all they did to make Sean’s day a dream come true!! I am so excited to see them all again in Daytona next month! Go TruSpeed!!!
-Robin Boone Hudson