On Saturday local organization Dream On 3 made a dream come true at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Charlotte's own nonprofit wish-granting organization is in the business of making dreams come true for local children with special needs.
With some help from Charlotte Motor Speedway, Richard Childress Racing, Metzger Removal, Penske Racing and Levine Children’s Hospital, DO3 made a young fan’s dream of attending a NASCAR race a reality.
Edward ‘Edwin’ Hernandez is an 11-year-old Charlotte resident who suffers from congenital heart disease. Hernandez has undergone four surgeries at the Sanger Heart Institute since birth to help alleviate stress on his heart and lungs caused by his condition.
In December 2013 doctors determined he was in need of a new heart. After 23 days on the transplant list, Edwin received his new heart at Levine Children's Hospital.
“I've never been to a NASCAR race before and I would really like to go," said Edwin, when DO3 asked him what his dream was.
Edwin’s magical day started with a police escort and limousine ride to Concord Regional Airport, where like a true NASCAR legend, he was flown into the infield of Charlotte Motor Speedway in a helicopter.
After landing Edwin spent his day doing celebrity meet and greets and full access to all things NASCAR. This included meeting and spending time with his favorite driver, Joey Logano.
“Being able to watch the races from his hospital room and his home provided him comfort and hope during a very difficult time,” said Edwin’s mother, Floriberta Reyes-Hernandez.
DO3 was founded in 2012 to support children with chronic illnesses, developmental disabilities and life-altering conditions. Their vision is a community united in making dreams come true for some very special local children.
They have received overwhelming support from the local health care community, the sports community and other national organizations for their attention to this population of special needs children.