The story began last November when the NASCAR world came out for Jake Leatherman’s funeral. You might remember the video. Dozens of drivers and pit crew members dressed in their fire suits, attending a small church service with a small casket for a boy they didn’t know.
Why did they do that? Because 5-year-old Jake loved NASCAR. His mom had said those men were his heroes. When those heroes heard about Jake’s
leukemia battle through #MollysKids, they stepped up to send Jake home in a top-notch classy, dignified way.
One person touched deeply by that funeral was driver Joey Logano. His wife, Brittany, wrote multiple times as we were organizing the funeral service. I was thoroughly impressed with how much she jumped in trying to help little Jake. She was the one who helped get a kid-sized NASCAR suit to drape Jake’s casket.
I just received an out-of-the-blue email from her.
“Hi, Molly. Not sure if you remember me but we talked briefly to honor Jake Leatherman,” she wrote. “I wanted you to know Jake has never left
our hearts and minds. Because of him Joey and I started a new program through our Foundation called JL Kids Crew. We’re now bringing mentally and/or physically handicapped or ill children to the race track and making them part of the crew for the day. We wanted to let you know this idea has stemmed completely from Jake and #MollysKids.”
It was a beautiful email. She ended with this:
“His funeral touched us so much we knew we needed to reach these kids before they go to be with the man Upstairs.”
Below is a picture of Brittany and Joey Logano’s first honorary member. His name is Cameron Curtis. He is legally blind and lives with Hydrocephalus
and cerebral palsy, Like Jake, he loves NASCAR and considers those in the racing world true heroes.
Actually, if this story is any indication, they are.
Thank you, Brittany.