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Jeffrey Meets Dale Earnhardt Jr.

“ Jeffrey was able to forget about his sickness and enjoy what he loves. ”


- Ruth, Jeffrey's Mom

At the time of Jeffrey's wish, his kidney was functioning at 25% and he was about to be put on the donor list. His condition is, unfortunately, well known to his family: his grandmother and uncle both passed away from Alport Syndrome, which can cause Renal Failure.

One of Jeffrey's favorite things to do, besides junking (finding old appliances, taking them apart and selling off the pieces), is watching NASCAR with his family. His favorite driver is Dale Earnhardt, Jr. As his wish, Jeffrey asked to meet Dale.

"I wanted to ask for something that I could never be able to do on my own," said Jeffrey.

Enter ESPN. Jeffrey's wish became part of the ESPN series, My Wish. In a matter of weeks, Jeffrey's wish went from a dream to a reality and he became a star. A crew of cameramen and producers came to Bangor, Maine where they revealed to Jeffrey that his wish would be granted while he was go-karting at Blackbeard's USA. The following day, the crew (including SportsCenter host Chris Connelly) went to the family's house for interviews. A few days later, Jeffrey was on a plane to North Carolina to go go-karting with Dale and watch the big race.

Jeffrey thought that his wish would be finished after he shook Dale's hand and had a quick chat with him. But, no! Dale brought him for a ride, showed him around his property and even invited him to sit with his pit crew during the race the following day!

"The day was crazy at the track," said Jeffrey. "I got to go to Dale's trailer, his car and meet many more drivers. The part I never would have expected was being part of driver introduction: before the race, I went on stage with Dale and waved to the crowd. Then, I did a lap around the track!"

Jeffrey said that he had the time of his life and that he will "never forget my amazing trip or the amazing people I met."

It was equally as special for the rest of Jeffrey's family.

“When our son got his wish, it was a moment we’ll never forget," said Jeffrey's mom, Ruth. "The look on his face was breathtaking. Thank you to all that made this wish what it was: an amazing chance for Jeffrey to forget about his sickness and enjoy doing what he loves. You’ll always be in our thoughts and in our hearts.”

His older sister, Jennifer, felt the trip made her an her brother closer. "For a short time, we could forget about his illness," said Jennifer. "For sharing my brother's dream come true and knowing he had the time of his life, I thank you from the bottom of my heart."

Thank You: Wish granters Stephanie Collins and Joe Simpson, ESPN, Black Beard's Go-Karting, NASCAR, Travis Bell Photographers

Jeffrey was able to forget about his sickness and enjoy what he loves. ”

— Jeffrey's Mom, Ruth

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June 25, 2012 - 11:25 AM

June 25, 2012 - 11:25 AM

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