Cody, 19 years old
Connelly Springs, NC
Down syndrome, Congenital heart disease, and chronic kidney disease
“My Dream is to meet Dale Earnhardt Jr., see his car and watch him race!”
Follow Cody’s Story:
Cody was at Levine Children’s Speciality Center, Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute to receive treatment when we met him for the first time. He was referred to us by the staff at Levine Children’s Speciality Center and he has also been featured as a #MollysKid by WBTV’s, Molly Grantham. Before we arrived, Cody’s mom, Starr, told him he should be expecting a surprise. He had no idea that surprise was us! We were told before walking into his room that he was in good spirits and was still flying high from being a “Cop For A Day,” an experience put together by the Granite Falls Police Department. It seems that Cody’s “celebrity status” was getting bigger by the moment and he was enjoying the limelight. As he should. You see, Cody’s life hasn’t been an easy one for his short 19 years. In 2016, he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure and evaluated for a heart transplant, unfortunately, he is not a candidate. He has received 3 open heart surgeries and was most recently diagnosed with stage 2 chronic kidney disease. He has good days and not so good days and Starr tells us that getting him to eat has been a challenge.
Despite it all, this sweet young man is full of love. Love for his mom, friends, care providers and Jesus (he won’t eat without offering grace first 🙂 ). When we walked into his room a big smile spread across his face and that unconditional love was instantly apparent. Cody almost immediately recognized the Dream On 3 logo on our shirts. He was familiar with our organization because one of his good friends, Timothy Brookshire, received a Dream Experience a few years ago and met Tony Romo. We think he had a pretty good idea what we were about to tell him.
Cody is a huge NASCAR fan and in his eyes, there is only one driver… Dale Earnhardt Jr.! His sports dream is to “meet Dale Earnhardt Jr., see his car and watch him race!” But we didn’t give it away that soon. First, we wanted to get to know him better and introduce him to a few people. Brandon Lindsey, our Founder, explained to him that every driver needed a good sponsor and that meant he needed one too.
Li Hong, PHT International’s President, and Founder, was with us to share the surprise with Cody. PHT stands for People, Honest, Trust. They believe in leadership, passion, dedication and the ability to find creative solutions in their industry, all values that align with ours. Li was with us to deliver the very special news, that together, we would be making his dream come true. She also presented him with a token of that promise – a Dale Jr. bag and t-shirt (which he loved!).
We look forward to seeing more smiles on this handsome face! Follow Cody’s story as it develops, it’s sure to be unforgettable!
Cody was referred to us by our partner, Levine Children’s Hospital.
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