CHATTANOOGA, TENN. (March 13, 2017) – The Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer is bringing its unique Diversionary Therapy “road show” to Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in Orlando, Florida on Wednesday, March 15. The foundation is also bringing International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) WeatherTech SportsCar Championship stars Jordan Taylor, Ricky Taylor, and Alex Lynn making the impending visit extra-special for young patients and their families.
At 10 a.m. on March 15, the Taylor Brothers of Apopka, Florida – recently crowned champions of the Rolex 24 At Daytona at Daytona International Speedway – and their new co-driver Lynn, of Great Britain, will join Austin Hatcher Foundation staff and hospital staff for the visit. As part of the experience, children – with the participation of the Taylors – will build and race the Foundation’s signature Pinewood Derby cars, a staple of the Diversionary Therapy visits.
On Jan. 28-29 the Taylors, Max Angelelli and four-time NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon co-drove to the Rolex 24 victory in the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R racecar campaigned by the team owned by the Taylors’ father, three-time sportscar champion Wayne Taylor. On Saturday, March 18 the Taylors and Lynn will co-drive at Sebring International Raceway in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida. Daytona and Sebring are the first two events on the WeatherTech Championship schedule.
“Just to have the opportunity to give the kids a little more hope and to brighten their day … it’s a special thing and it’s always nice,” Ricky Taylor said. “It’s a shame we can’t do more of these types of visits [during the season]. These kids we’ll see are facing things we never had to experience [as kids].”
The Austin Hatcher Foundation partners with hospitals throughout the United States to provide Diversionary Therapy, offering children and families a much-needed respite from the everyday realities of a fight against pediatric cancer. The Austin Hatcher Foundation’s services are provided at no cost; all services are paid for by donations received by the foundation.
The Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children visit is the second visit of 2017 for the foundation’s Diversionary Therapy Division and is another example of young patients and their families benefiting from the foundation’s longstanding link to the motorsports and automotive industries. The foundation, based in Chattanooga, Tennessee, is a “Proud Charity” of IMSA, which is headquartered in Daytona Beach, Florida. Prior to its status with IMSA, the foundation was the Official Charity of the American Le Mans Series.
The over-arching goal of the Foundation’s Diversionary Therapy Division is to provide families that are facing pediatric cancer with specialized activities involving leisure and recreation while reducing barriers to enjoyment. The aim is to promote self-esteem, personal fulfillment and psychological, social, intellectual and spiritual/cultural well-being.
Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital Visit
“Our visit to Arnold Palmer Children’s is a fantastic way to continue our Diversionary Therapy efforts in 2017,” said Austin Hatcher Foundation President Amy Jo Osborn. “The Taylor Brothers, who are ‘hometown guys’ in the Orlando area, are great with the kids. The fact that we are involving them right after their historic Daytona victory obviously is a further boost.”
Diversionary Therapy remains at the core of the ever-expanding foundation programs and services. That expansion has been facilitated by a new facility in downtown Chattanooga – the Austin Hatcher Foundation automotive-themed Educational Advancement Center (EAC). The EAC will focus on diagnosing and treating educational and functional deficits associated with pediatric cancer and its life-saving treatments. The center’s programs will include industrial arts and school tutorial programs, neuro-cognitive testing and remediation and other specialty programs designed to optimize recovery from cancer by both patients and their families.
“It’s an exciting time for the Austin Hatcher Foundation as we continue to increase awareness of our work and in the process increase the positive impact we have on the lives of children and families fighting cancer,” Osborn said.