CONCORD, N.C. (August 12, 2014) – Trevor Bayne will have a special guest on the No. 6 AdvoCare Ford Mustang this weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for the Nationwide Children’s Hospital 200. Five-year-old Blake Hames, of Westerville, OH, will have his face on the hood and his name on the passenger side door of the No. 6 Ford as part of Nationwide Children’s Hospital Patient Champion Program.
At 10 months old, Hames’ parents discovered a lump on his neck that was ultimately determined to be neuroblastoma, a rare type of cancer that affects the central nervous system. Given the size of the tumor and the risk of giving anesthesia to Hames at such a young age, doctors concluded that the best course of action would be to use chemotherapy to shrink the tumor. After several rounds of chemo, the tumor shrank down to a size that allowed it to be operated on.
Despite the fact that surgery can now be completed, Hames’ family faced another issue as the tumor was located on the young child’s vocal cords and that the pending surgery would render Hames unable to speak.
With his parents relying on faith and months of prayer, Hames was released from the Nationwide Children’s Hospital cancer free. Within a year of leaving the hospital, Hames was able to do what was previously thought would not be possible, speak. He is now an energetic child who loves riding his bike, catching frogs and praying for others.
“Blake is such an inspirational kid,” said Bayne. “To think about everything that he went through at such a young age, it’s just incredible. I’m very excited to have him be with our team this weekend. I think the car looks awesome and I hope that we are able to give him the experience of a lifetime and get to take him to Victory Lane.”
Hames is also pretty excited to get the opportunity to meet Bayne and ride along with the No. 6 team on Saturday.
“I am excited to meet Trevor because he gets paid to go fast!,” said Hames. “And I can’t believe that my picture is going to be on a race car.”
Nine other NNS teams are participating in the Patient Champion program, including fellow Roush Fenway Racing teammates Ryan Reed and Chris Buescher.
The Nationwide Children’s Hospital 250 airs live on ESPN at 2:45 p.m. ET on Saturday, Aug. 16.