On December 6th 2019, we received word that a young boy named Will Sidebottom, of Asheboro, North Carolina, had a heart transplant from 2016 that was failing. We read this on a Facebook post from Joey Whitaker, a well known drifter and friend of Will‘s family, who was asking for anyone and everyone to help the family achieve Will’s dreams and get to ride in a Lamborghini. As we read this we thought, “how can we help him?” Never mind the fact that he doesn’t have cancer. This 9 year old boy is expected to only have a few months left to live. He touched our hearts down to the core as many of us here at CFC are parents ourselves. So we began making phone calls.
Phone calls, texts, messages across every social media platform led us to a few friends who were willing to give rides in their cars, donate money, and help in anyway that we can. During all of this, we discovered that Will was riding around in Lamborghinis, Ferraris, McLarens, and other awesome cars at the Cars and Coffee in Charlotte! We were thrilled, but knew we wanted to still do something for him. We received word from one of our team members, Nate Wheeler, that Atlanta Motorsports Park was willing to donate some time for Will at their facility! We were super excited, but then realized that we now had to find a way to get Will, and his family, down to AMP. They also told us that it would need to be on Sunday, December 8th, which was two days later. A sudden challenge had emerged out of this, and we were more than ready.
Through the massive support growing for young Will. We rallied a group together here in our hometown of Greenville, South Carolina to cruise down to AMP with Will. We all met at the Target on Woodruff Road early Sunday morning and rolled out with the family, excited to travel with Will, to Atlanta Motorsports Park. Once we arrived, we were welcomed at the gate with smiling faces, and the sounds of roaring V8’s and turbocharged in-line engines racing around the road course. No one could ignore the buzzing of go kart engines whipping around the karting track in the center of the road course! Talk about a wild set up!
We took Will around, showed him racecars, supercars, even a beautiful Dodge Viper ACR, a rare sight to us. We still don’t know who was drooling more, Will or us! We even gave him a custom made turquoise shirt, his favorite color, just for him! Motivated Industries whipped the shirt up for us at the very last minute, and we’re so thankful for their help! The sounds, smells, and sights of the track filled everyone with excitement, not for us, but for our new friend. We were greeted by our good friends at BMMR Brand and FITFO Culture. Two new brands coming out of Atlanta who are also spreading the message of positivity, love, and hope. These guys were super thrilled to be a part of this. They played basketball with Will, told him jokes, made him laugh and smile as much as possible. We are absolutely so thankful for them!
We then made our way to the Karting facility where we all strapped on our helmets, and got ready to race. Will was partnered up with some of AMP’s Pro drivers, who took Will around the track in karts reaching up to 60mph. If you’ve never been 60mph in a go kart, that’s fast! We looped around, picked lines, battled for positions amongst each other, laughing and having a great time around the track. We saw nothing, but smiles every time Will took off his helmet as he came back in from each session around the track.
That’s Will wearing the Santa helmet.
They had one last surprise for Will. We brought Will back over to the garages kept on sight for the racers who come into town for various event, to find a Formula 1600 racecar, and Will was going to get to sit in it and check it out! He ran as fast as he could to the car, his eyes filled with excitement and glee, ready to see more. Porter Aiken, the owner and driver of the racecar, was more than happy to let Will sit in the car with it running. He revved the engine for Will, thus revving the ecstatic emotions stirring inside of the 9 year old. We then discovered that Will was going to get to keep the helmet he was wearing around the track! We decided to decorate the helmet some with one of our #CFC stickers and everyone who attended the event with us signed the helmet. He hardly ever took the helmet off for the rest of the day.
The sun had gone down, but our hearts were filled with the light of hope and love for Will. This young man truly moved all of us. He is an incredible kid, who is bright, funny, a class clown, all piled up inside with a big heart. A huge shoutout to FITFO, BMMR Brand, Inman Muffler Shop, Carolina Z Club, and most importantly, Nate Wheeler for shuttling the family the entire journey.
Will, and your entire family, we want to say thank you. You guys are such wonderful people and we hope that you all had as much fun as we did. We are truly moved and touched by you. We are praying for hope and a new way to save Will every single day. We believe it’s out there, and that it will find it’s way to you. We are still wanting to continue to help in any way that we can, and we will continue to support you and your family.
We love you buddy.