FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - An Iowa boy with cancer who asked for a heartbreaking wish to have racing stickers for his casket has inspired a Fort Lauderdale luxury car dealer to step forward with a special experience for the 11-year-old.
Caleb Hammond was diagnosed with leukemia in February 2017 but was recently told his treatment had stopped working.
He and his family have since decided to let him enjoy the time he has left outside of the hospital.
“I believe he made the right choice to live it out, doing what we’re doing instead of laying in a hospital bed,” his father John Hammond said.
Caleb’s story spread across the country, getting the attention of a Ferrari dealership owner right here in South Florida.
KCCI reports that Garrett Hayim, the owner of a Ferrari dealership in Fort Lauderdale, decided to give the young racing fan the chance to ride in a $3 million race car. Hayim sent a Ferrari, driver and racing suit from South Florida to the Iowa Speedway.
Hayim, whose father is a cancer survivor, was touched by Caleb’s story and felt compelled to help.
“Maybe I can pull off shipping the race teams, the whole team,” he said in a phone call, “the truck, the trailer, the race cars, the drivers, ship them all to Iowa and see if we could give this guy a day to remember.”
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Driver Jody Coenen took Caleb for a spin on the track, starting slow and steady before finally putting the pedal to the metal. They sped around the race track at a whopping 202 miles per hour before a spinning grand finale.
“We are just happy to provide the venue where he can come and do this and happy to have them here,” David Hyatt, president of the Iowa Speedway, told KCCI. “For us, it’s kind of a thrill watching him smile.”
“When we did the doughnuts, it felt like a tornado,” Caleb said of his thrilling ride. “This is something I will never forget.”
Caleb said he has collected thousands of racing stickers sent by strangers from across the country for his casket.
“If he’s at that point, he needs to enjoy every single day because his moments count even more than yours and mine,” Hayim said.
Now that Caleb has been in the Ferrari ride of his dreams, there’s something else he will soon be crossing off his bucket list.
He’s always wanted to see the Green Bay Packers play, so the team has invited him and his family to attend one of their games.
If you’d like to donate racing stickers to Hammond, you can send them to 314 North J Street, Oskaloosa, IA 52577 or visit the family’s GoFundMe page to help cover any expenses.
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