'Make-A-Wish' introduces 12-year-old fan to her favorite driver at Daytona International Speedway
At Daytona International Speedway in July, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kasey Kahne met his biggest fan, 12-year-old Rylee Durham from Palm Bay, Fla., as part of the eighth annual ESPN SportsCenter “My Wish” series.
The summer series chronicles sports-themed wishes by Make-A-Wish® for children with life-threatening medical conditions.
Durham, who suffers from Noonan syndrome, has had other health concerns, including kidney problems, a melanoma on her back, hearing loss and hydrocephalus, a condition that has led to seven brain surgeries and the installation of a shunt to relieve fluid from the brain.
“I can’t do a lot of stuff that other people do, but I can cheerlead,” Durham said. “And I know about my race car driver, Kasey Kahne. He’s always my favorite driver in my heart.”
“My mom and stepdad used to put her in Jeff Burton clothes,” her mom, Mandi Goodale, said. “She changed that real quick.”
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Kahne joined NFL quarterbacks Robert Griffin III of the Washington Redskins, Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks, tennis legend Roger Federer and others in this year’s series. The series continues through Thursday on the 6 p.m. edition of ESPN’s SportsCenter.