FORT WORTH, Texas (December 15, 2016) – Christmas arrived early for the Lacy family from nearby Haslet on Thursday at Texas Motor Speedway.
The family of five has battled through the news that their nine-month-old son is dealing with the rare birth defect known as craniosynostosis and is set for extensive surgery on Monday. To ensure the family could enjoy some quality time together heading into the holiday season, Texas Motor Speedway invited them out for an afternoon of fun.
Logan and Katie Lacy and their three sons – eight-year-old Landen, four-year-old Jase and nine-month-old John Luke – are avid NASCAR fans and enjoyed speeding around Texas Motor Speedway and getting a behind-the-scenes look at the world renowned facility.
The family was treated to pace car rides on Texas Motor Speedway’s high-banked, 1.5-mile oval and continued with a customary celebration in Sunoco Victory Lane as the family sported the traditional cowboy hats awarded to the race winner while posing with the iconic AAA Texas 500 trophy. The children also enjoyed posing with the trophy on the broadcast set in the infield media center, where the winning driver has his press conference.
“It was so fun going fast around Texas Motor Speedway,” Landen said. “Everything at the speedway is really cool! This is a day I will not forget.”
The afternoon concluded with a special visit from Santa Claus at Santa’s Village in the speedway’s infield that is part of the Gift of Lights holiday display. Santa came bearing Texas Motor Speedway and NASCAR gifts for the children and parents while the Gift of Lights contributed family photos with Santa, a voucher to visit the light display and stuffed animals for the children.
The Lacy’s story came to light following a segment on the nationally syndicated radio broadcast, the Kidd Kraddick Morning Show on 106.1 KISS FM locally. The program featured the Lacys as part of the show’s “Christmas Wishes” segment, where listeners submit families battling adversity during the holiday season.
John Luke is dealing with craniosynostosis, which is a birth defect in which one or more of the fibrous joints between the bones of a baby’s skull closes prematurely before the child’s brain is fully formed. Treating craniosynostosis involves surgery to correct the shape of the head and allow for normal brain growth. Early diagnosis and treatment allow a child’s brain adequate space to grow and develop.
“There are no words to show how thankful we are for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Katie said. “We always knew Texas Motor Speedway and NASCAR were incredible. Truthfully, it’s originally why we started watching NASCAR years ago. We loved that we could watch an honest sport with our boys that would promote strong ethics, hard work, family and faith.”
The visit was part of Texas Motor Speedway’s Speeding To Help community outreach initiative that is in its ninth year. The next event will be Tuesday as speedway employees will team up with Levy Restaurants to provide a special Christmas party luncheon for 40-60 people with intellectual disabilities at the Mosaic vocational center local headquarters in Carrollton. Levy will prepare and serve a specially prepared holiday meal for the center residents while speedway employees will engage with the adults, including playing bingo and awarding prizes in the visit from 11 a.m.- 3 p.m.
Mosaic partners with people with intellectual disabilities to provide a meaningful life in a caring community, giving a voice to their needs. The faith-based organization serves more than 3,700 people with intellectual disabilities in 36 agencies located in 10 states.
In the past eight years, Texas Motor Speedway’s Speeding To Help program has provided assistance to 30 organizations or programs throughout the various counties in North Texas as well as the West, Texas Long-Term Recovery Project.