DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — A new NASCAR season is almost here, and one Davidson County racing superfan is getting a huge gift.
Camden Walser suffered a stroke just days after birth, and life has been an uphill battle, but it hasn’t dampened his spirits.
“Camden, I like to say, never met a stranger. He is the nicest student walking around the school saying ‘hey’ to everyone. He’s just a joy to be around,” Mark Beasley said.
That joy and plenty of energy and excitement were on display in a jam-packed gym for his Make-A-Wish reveal: A trip to this year’s Daytona 500. Whitney Essick is Camden’s teacher and was the mastermind behind Thursday’s pep rally.
“Once we started talking it was really easy. The community wanted to come together to support him because he’s so loving and he has such an infectious smile that everyone loves to be around him. So when they heard it was about Camden, everybody was all in,” she said.
The pit crews for RCR and Kaulig Racing were happy to pitch in. There were some “friendly” tire-changing competitions throughout the pep rally, too.
“What we do at the race track it’s big to us, but when we see the effect it has on other people it really puts it full circle and anything we can do on our end, a small little token of our appreciation for what the schools do for the kids. This school is incredible in how they treated Camden and how they were so rambunctious and excited for him,” Ray Wright said.
It didn’t hurt that Lamar Neal from RCR pulled off the “Griddy” to get the kids pumped up
“Man, I’ve been practicing the Griddy with my daughter my oldest daughter and I’m getting it. I’m not there yet, but she’s got me working on it and just trying to showcase some of my skills for the kids,” he said.
It was a great day for a little boy who loves “anything on wheels,” according to his mom Meredith.
“He likes fast cars and trucks,” Brent Walser said.
“His dad was the one who started that, but he is all about it. He loves cars, he loves trucks,” anything with wheels he loves it,” Meredith Walser said. “This wish was amazing for him.”
Make-a-Wish in this part of North Carolina will grant hundreds of wishes this year to terminally ill and special needs children.
“It has been an amazing 9 years with him. He’s a smart boy and he loves the world and it was so nice to have a day where the world showed him that they just love him. It was a special day for him and a special day for all of us,” his parents said.
“He’s usually planning other adventures to doctor appointments and visits and it was nice to have a day of normalcy.”
As for Camden, he had one very important thing to say.
“Start my engine!”