CHARLOTTE, NC (September 17, 2021) — Today during the DeWalt NHRA Carolina Nationals Kalitta Motorsports hosted Savannah Smith, an 11-year-old from Statesville, North Carolina, as part of their association with A Kid Again. Prior to the first round of qualifying Savannah and her family toured the Kalitta Motorsports pit area and she was able to meet Top Fuel drivers Doug Kalitta, Shawn Langdon, and Funny Car driver J.R. Todd.
Savannah was born with congenital malformations & two rare genetic conditions – Pfeiffer Syndrome & Turner Syndrome. She also suffers from Craniosynostostis, Epilepsy, Asthma, Strabismus & Exostosis of both tibias. She was given less than a 5% survival rate at birth. She’s had 37 surgeries in her young life and will require many more in the future. The A Kid Again adventure was a highlight for Savannah and her family.
“People always stare at Savannah because she looks different,” said Gary Smith, father of Savannah. “Everyone at Kalitta has been so nice to her and no one here is looking at her funny. This is the first time we’ve ever been in a group setting where we felt so welcome and normal – this team is restoring my faith in humanity.”
Kalitta Motorsports’ support helps A Kid Again further their mission of giving families the opportunity to take a time out from illness by attending ongoing Adventures together at NHRA races while they work through significant medical situations. This season the team has hosted five families during the 2021 season.
With the goal of providing year-round fun-filled Adventures that allow children with life-threatening conditions and their families to feel like “a kid again,” the organization works to create a communal and interactive environment offering comprehensive resources to help families cope with the extended effects of living through difficult medical journeys.