The Frontstretch: A View From Craftsman for a Cure by Mike Neff -- Thursday May 25, 2006

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A View From Craftsman for a Cure

Mike Neff · Thursday May 25, 2006


Bobby Hamilton recently announced to the world that he had been afflicted with cancer in his neck. Cancer is a disease which is pervasive throughout the world. It is a relatively safe bet that there is no one reading this article that has not been touched by cancer in some way, whether it is a family member, friend, or the individual themselves. Like most people who discover they have the disease, Hamilton is aggressively battling it with chemotherapy and radiation treatments. In addition to battling his own ailments, Hamilton is spearheading some fundraising efforts for the American Cancer Society. This week, Craftsman joined in the effort and sponsored Craftsman for a Cure at the NASCAR Speedpark located at Concord Mills Mall in Concord, North Carolina.

The purpose of these fundraisers was two-fold. First of all, it raises money for research into this terrible disease. The research will not only discover better ways to treat people who have contracted cancer, but it will also hopefully develop ways to detect and prevent the disease from ever taking hold in the first place. It also helps make people aware of the disease, giving the countless millions who are afflicted with it the support that is available to them so that they do not have to go through their fight alone.

With Hamilton a popular member of the NASCAR garage area, many drivers turned out to help support this noble cause at the Speedpark. Unfortunately, Bobby Hamilton was not one of them. Due to the fact radiation treatments severely suppress a person’s immune system, Hamilton’s doctors told him it was a very unwise idea to expose himself to the large group of people who would show up for the event. Since he could not attend, Bobby taped a message that was played for the people helping put on the fundraiser and the participants who gave of their time to help make it a success. He expressed his deepest appreciation for their efforts, and assured everyone he is doing well and that he is going to beat this disease.

Bobby’s son, Bobby Hamilton, Jr. was one of the drivers in attendance. He spoke of the fact that the success of Bobby Hamilton Racing at this point in time is a testament to his father’s incredible leadership abilities. Even though Hamilton, Sr. cannot be there every day, the shop continues to proceed without interruption. Everyone in the shop knows their roles and the operation continues to function as it always has. Hamilton, Jr. also noted that his relationship with his father has two “faces”: the work face, where the discussions take place at the shop and focus solely on racing, and the father-son face, that occurs at home when the two of them can really talk about what is going on and how Hamilton, Sr. feels. Bobby, Jr. seems to enjoy the fact that he can have a two-pronged relationship with his dad, coming along to fill the void in his shop at the right time after a season in the Nextel Cup series.

Darrell Waltrip was also in attendance for the evening. He shared that both his father and his father-in-law were victims of cancer. Waltrip said that he talked to Hamilton at Martinsville and looked forward to speaking to him again very soon. Darrell hopes that everyone realizes what a tough fight Hamilton is going through and how much the get well wishes and prayers really do help him.

Cancer affects so many people and disrupts so many lives. It is going to take a lot of effort and a lot of resources to eventually beat the disease once and for all. If any one has the opportunity to attend one of these fundraisers, they should take the time to do it. Not only do they get to spend some time with NASCAR drivers away from the track, but they also can help make a difference in the fight against cancer. If it isn’t possible to attend an event, donations can always be made directly to the American Cancer Society. Together, we can find a cure.

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©2000 - 2008 Mike Neff and Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!

06/02/2006 07:00 PM

6 months before my 50th birthday I was diagnosed with stage IV neck and throat cancer. I was given less than 1 year to live. That was 3 1/2 years ago. I can fully understand the fight Bobby has before him. May God bless Bobby Hamilton and may God bless his family. Cancer is just as difficult for the person’s family as for the patient himself. I will pray for Bobby and his family.


Contact Mike Neff

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