International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) driver Lawson Aschenbach will join staff members from the Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer on Thursday, for a special visit to Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte, North Carolina.
From 1-3 p.m. at the hospital, Foundation staff will provide the organization’s unique Diversionary Therapy services to young cancer patients and patients’ family members. The Foundation partners with hospitals throughout the United States to provide Diversionary Therapy, offering children and families a much-needed respite from the everyday realities of a fight against pediatric cancer. Services are provided at no cost to patients, as all are paid for by donations received by the Foundation.
As part of the visit, patients will have the opportunity to build the Foundation’s signature Pinewood Derby miniature race cars with Aschenbach – and then race the cars against the rising sports car star. The Pinewood Derby cars are a staple of the Foundation’s hospital visits and increasingly, so, too are appearances by IMSA drivers. The Foundation, based in Chattanooga, Tennessee, is a “Proud Partner” of IMSA, which is headquartered in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Aschenbach races Audi R8s in IMSA’s WeatherTech SportsCar Championship for Stevenson Motorsports, an established team based in Jacksonville, North Carolina. The 32-year-old driver won the 2010 Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge championship in the Street Tuner class. He currently is 10th in the WeatherTech Championship’s GT Daytona class standings. Aschenbach will compete this weekend in the Michelin GT Challenge at Virginia International Raceway in Danville, Virginia.
The Foundation’s Diversionary Therapy Division works to provide young patients and families faced with pediatric cancer an afternoon of activities that promote leisure and recreation by reducing barriers to enjoyment. The aim is to promote self-esteem, personal fulfillment and psychological, social, intellectual and spiritual/cultural well-being.
“These visits are, as the division’s name implies, a diversion for the people we visit,” said Foundation President Amy Jo Osborn. “The involvement of IMSA drivers adds to the children’s enjoyment, which is obvious when you see the looks on kids’ faces when they get to meet a professional race car driver.”
Levine Children’s Hospital recently was named as one of the nation’s best children’s facilities in four areas of specialized care, by U.S. News and World Report.
“Levine Children’s is first-rate and we are honored to partner with them for this visit,” Osborn said.
In addition, Stevenson Motorsports will host a fundraising auction for the Foundation at Virginia International Raceway on Sunday August 28 from 11:30 – 12:00pm, at the team transporter in the raceway’s paddock area. Photographs, used race parts and other racing memorabilia will be among the items available for fans’ bidding.
About the Austin Hatcher Foundation:
The Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer’s mission is to erase the effects of pediatric cancer and optimize each child’s quality of life through essential specialized intervention beginning at the time of diagnosis and continuing throughout survivorship. The Foundation provides services to children with cancer, as well as their families, through its cancer care center, Hatch’s House of Hope. The Foundation provides all services at no cost to the families. Services are funded solely by the generous donations of supporters. For more information, visit www.hatcherfoundation.org. or contact the Foundation via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.