Lives with: Autism
Referred by: Jeff Gordon's Children's Hospital
Favorite Sport: NASCAR
Sports Hero: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Meet Sam, a 14-year-old with a Need for Speed! Born and raised in Kannapolis, NC, Dream Kid Sam loves anything fast! He also loves the outdoors, where you can often find him hunting, fishing, or playing basketball with friends. Sam has a very strong bond with his parents and his 12-year-old brother John. His Dad, Mark, has been in Scouts with both sons for many years, and Mom, Lisa, also has fun getting involved. Sam is 1st class ranking Boy Scout, and has earned 13 merit badges! Each year, the family participates in a 37-mile hike to Camp Barnhardt in the heat of the summer. As tight as this family is, when it comes to sports it is often a house divided! There is an intense Duke vs. UNC division that makes watching basketball very interesting.
Sam lives with autism, this challenge means he must work harder to communicate effectively as well as learn and retain new information. He was also diagnosed with scoliosis in 2015, the severity of his condition has resulted in numerous upper repository infections and Sam is scheduled for back surgery this summer. Despite the challenges Sam is faced with each day, he lives a full and busy life, where he is always eager to help bring joy to his family, teachers, and friends. This caring young man is always the first to help out around the house or in the classroom and although shy at first, he warms up quickly and is quite the jokester!
Dream Kid Sam has many interests, however, he is most passionate about racing! He loves “going fast” and especially loves fast cars and NASCAR. His dream is to experience a NASCAR race and meet his favorite driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Sam makes sure to watch every lap of each race in hopes of cheering him on to victory!