akronchildrens.org

Dream Racer honors child, helps cancer and blood disorder patients

Dr. LeRoy Eberly, a hospitalist at Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley, checks out the “bells and whistles” of the Dream Racer with patient Trinity Tubbs.

JoAnn Lewis, president of the Jacob Lewis Memorial Fund and mother of Jacob Lewis, recently presented Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley with a Children’s Dream Racer. The child-sized racer allows children to experience the excitement of driving on the track while receiving medicine and chemotherapy treatments.

Jacob, formerly from Sharpsville, Pa., knew what it was like to be a child with an acute illness. The 6 year old fought a courageous battle against brain tumors that ended on Sept. 7, 1995. In honor of Jacob, the presentation was made on what would have been his 24th birthday.

“All he ever wanted to do was help others kids,” said JoAnn. “In the midst of fighting his own courageous battle, Jacob looked for opportunities to make other sick children feel better. He delivered drawings, played jokes and gave rides in the little red wagon.”

The racer allows patients to be strapped in to play video games, watch a movie or listen to music streaming from the built-in A/V components, allowing them to forget about their treatments and be engaged in the thrill of racing.

The racer can be equipped with a flat panel display; CD/DVD player; PlayStation®; swivel food tray; cup holder; IV stand; oxygen bottle holder; and easy-roll casters with brake.

It’s built with the same materials as real race cars: steel roll cage and bodywork as well as a fabric racing seat complete with safety harness. The racers are painted to match their life-sized counterparts.

Accepting the racer on behalf of Akron Children’s was Trinity Tubbs, a 7 year old who was diagnosed in October with ITP (idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura), a bleeding disorder in which the immune system destroys platelets that are necessary for normal blood clotting.

The Dream Racer is made possible through the Jacob Lewis Memorial Fund.