Houston Nunez, age 15, wanted to make sure he had his photo taken with IZOD INDYCAR star Justin Wilson, who at 6’3” was only an inch or two taller than the Arlington, TX resident.
Mansfield, TX ‘s Christopher Conigliaro, age 7, beamed as he sat barely visible in the Racing For Kids® Hewlett Packard INDYCAR show car, then sat on the side pod with his father, Vinnie, for their picture with Wilson.
Both patients were among the nearly 75 youngsters touched by Thursday’s Racing For Kids’ stop at Cook Children’s Medical Center in Ft. Worth, TX.
It was a warm, breezy Texas morning that greeted Wilson, who drives Dreyer & Reinbold Racing’s #22 car. He will compete in Saturday’s Firestone Twin 275s races at Texas Motor Speedway.
Affable and accommodating, Wilson helped youngster, some tightly clutching their IV tubes, in and out of the show car; signed Racing For Kids caps for everyone; posed for pictures; and talked about the TMS track and what fans should expect to see in Saturday Night’s two races.
After more than an hour greeting patients, their siblings and parents in front of the Cook facility, Wilson then entered the hospital, donned a yellow hospital gown and spent time bedside with three youngsters in isolation.
Assisting with the visit were:
-Matt Ache, CEO of I-Rex Corporation who presented Racing For Kids and Cook with a $2000 check;
-Humana, Inc. representatives Emily Kinney and Frank McCaffrey;
-UMP representatives Jamie George and Louise DiGiacomo;
-Dreyer & Reinbold Racing PR Manager, Elizabeth Cannon;
-Dallas based Racing For Kids volunteer Jane Eaton.
It as generally agreed that Wilson garnered a huge group of new fans at Cook Children’s. One, the aforementioned Christopher Conigliaro, who was to be released later Thursday morning, said he would be in the stands Saturday Night - arm cast and all.