A Mother’s Prospective
In June of 2004 we attended an event, Racing Toward Your Dreams. This event featured Kelly “Girl” Sutton, a Nascar Truck Driver who lives with MS.
Kelly was diagnosed with MS at sixteen and so the local drug representatives thought Kelly would be able to talk with Brandhi and help her in dealing with her diagnosis. Before the program they told Kelly about Brandhi and asked her if she would talk with her a little before the program. Kelly agreed.
While waiting for this program to begin we were talking with several different people who had attended the race the evening before when in walked Kelly. Immediately, she walked over to Brandhi and put her arms around her and gave her the biggest hug. She started assuring Brandhi that everything would be all right and encouraging her to keep pursuing her dreams. We walked into a private area and had a very emotional meeting with Kelly. This was the first time I saw Brandhi connect with someone and cry.
We sat through the program and listened to Kelly’s inspiring story. All the while Brandhi could relate and connect with Kelly. It was, to say the least, an emotional day. Before leaving Kelly exchanged phone numbers and email addresses with Brandhi and told her to keep in touch with her, to call her anytime she needed to talk. She also left Brandhi with a very special gift. She gave Brandhi a collectable coin that was due to come out in 2005. At this time, there were only two that had been made. One was made for Kelly and one was given to Kelly’s Crew Chief. Kelly gave Brandhi her coin and told Brandhi to keep it with her at all times. To this day, this is a very special and treasured gift!
In the months ahead Brandhi continued to keep in touch with Kelly. In August of that same year we went to Indianapolis Raceway Park to s
We decided to stay and watch the race even though Kelly wasn’t in it. While we were sitting there Brandhi said to me, “ I can do this”. I said, “Do what, race!?!” She says, “No, mom. I can do MS”! ee Kelly race. We spent the day with Kelly and her family at their hauler and in the pits. This day changed Brandhi’s life forever. She was so excited to be there, standing on top of Kelly’s hauler watching her practice and qualify. Brandhi’s hands were trembling while we waited to see if Kelly would qualify for the race. This was a tough day for Kelly and her crew. Kelly did not make the race but in the eyes of this very young girl she was a winner!
From that day on Brandhi has accomplished so many things for others affected by MS. Kelly was the source of inspiration for that. Because Kelly took the time to connect and make a difference in Brandhi’s life, her view of MS and the way she lives her life changed.
Kelly means so much to our family. We are so grateful for the time and support, and the very special coin she gave Brandhi. But the most important gift she gave her was HOPE and a new outlook of her future. Kelly and Brandhi have continued to remain friends and they still have a very close connection. I pray for Kelly everyday and I thank God that He sent her our way.