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NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series driver Natalie Decker has announced the Arthritis Foundation as her charity of choice for an upcoming fundraiser, her website announced in a statement Tuesday.
The fundraiser initiated by Decker, who has had juvenile rheumatoid arthritis since birth, will run from Oct. 1-20.
“I’m so thankful the Arthritis Foundation gives people with arthritis the resources, local programs and support that people with arthritis need, so they can chase their dreams – like becoming a NASCAR driver – and live a full life,” Decker said in a press statement. “I was very nervous about sharing this for a long time. However, I am so happy I’m finally sharing my story to help and be an inspiration to others.”
All proceeds will raise money for the foundation’s goal of providing resources and support to those with arthritis, including camps for JA.
“There are so many difficulties with the condition I have,” she said. “When I was younger, one of the biggest things I struggled with was my arms would lock at a 45-degree angle, and I couldn’t get them all the way straight. Another big struggle was the methotrexate I had to take. This was a chemo drug, and when taken, it made me so sick. As a whole, the arthritis stunted my growth, amongst other things.”
Fans can support the cause by purchasing a spot on the hood of Decker’s No. 54 DGR-Crosley Toyota for the Gander Outdoors Truck Series season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the Ford Ecoboost 200. With the purchase, fans will also receive autographed items, including a Lionel diecast of the truck she will run, a T-shirt, a hero card and a poster.
Decker’s truck’s hood, along with her firesuit, helmet and gloves from the Homestead race will be auctioned off after the event.
Fans can purchase a spot on the truck’s hood or donate to the foundation by visiting Decker’s website, but spots must be bought before Oct. 20. Other auctions and fundraising events will be announced prior to the race.