By Brent Cotter
This Sunday is Family Fun Day at Winchester Speedway. There will be kid friendly activities such as a bounce house, face painting, and sno cones. While track promoters will be working hard to make sure everyone has a great time, Josh Timmerman Racing and Families for HoPE will be working extra hard to make sure the day has a lasting impact. Besides signing autographs and giving away balloons, they will be raising awareness about a serious medical disorder.
Josh (who runs in the CRA Late Model Sportsman Class) and Families For HoPE, have a partnership dedicated to raising awareness of Holoprosencephaly (HPE), and offering support for those affected by it. The following description of HPE is provided by the Families For HoPE website-
"Everyone will agree that the statistics are depressing, and the medical websites are confusing and frightening. Families for HoPE seeks to provide hope to families and physicians by sharing stories of infants and children who have defied the medical statistics to turn HPE into HoPE.
HPE is a disorder characterized by the failure of the prosencephalon (the forebrain of the embryo) to develop. During normal development, the forebrain is formed and the face begins to develop in the fifth and sixth weeks of pregnancy. HPE is caused by a failure of the embryo's forebrain to divide to form bilateral cerebral hemispheres (the left and right halves of the brain), causing defects in the development of the face and in brain structure and function.
This brain malformation can range from mild to severe and is classified into four types:
(1) Alobar (severe) - where the brain is not divided and there are severe abnormalities.
(2) Semi-Lobar (moderate) - where the brain is partially divided and there are some moderate abnormalities; where there are two hemispheres in the rear but not the front of the brain.
(3) Lobar (mild) - where the brain is divided and there are some mild abnormalities.
(4) Middle Interhemispheric Variant (MIHV) - where the middle of the brain (posterior frontal and parietal lobes) are not well separated.
HPE is a condition without a cure or a standard course of treatment. Treatment for HPE is symptomatic and supportive. Children with HPE can also have secondary conditions such as mental retardation, epilepsy, diabetes insipidus, pituitary and hormone disorders, movement disorders and spasticity, gastroesophageal reflux, respiratory disorders, and hydrocephalus."
Josh and Families for hope have been working together since 2006. Josh's mother is a pediatric nurse, and through her, Josh got to know a very special young boy with HPE, Sammy Harley. Sammy's mother Leslie Harley, is a founding member of Families For HoPE. So, when Josh decided that he wanted to use his racing efforts to promote a good cause, Families For HoPE was the natural choice.
Thier cause is especially important to us at Union City Now.
Some of you may not know, but fellow Union City Now founder Philip Brewer has a son with HPE. Maddox Brewer is an incredible little boy. Though he has been in and out of the hospital countless times, and faces a number of challenges, his shear joy of life is evident and contagious. Children with HPE require special attention, which can make normal job schedules next to impossible. Because of this, Philip chose to be a stay at home dad, which made Union City Now possible. Union City Now would not exist if it weren't for young Maddox Brewer.
So, this weekend, in body or in spirit, we ask that you support the number 09 car, Josh Timmerman, and Families For Hope.
If you do decide to go, it's only $10 dollars at the door for adults, students 12-18 are $5, and kids 12 and under are free.
Gates open at 10am and racing starts at 2pm.