At eighteen months old, Luis was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy. SMA is a motor neuron disease that affects all of the muscles in the body but most severely attacks the shoulders, hips and back. When it affects the respiratory muscles, children become at high risk for developing pneumonia and other lung problems. Just last year, Luis suffered through two surgeries for muscle weakness. He is also confined to a wheelchair, needs constant assistance and must endure frequent breathing treatments.
The timing for Luis’ wish couldn’t have been better; only a week following his eighth birthday, Luis got to meet his hero, Ricky Carmichael prior to watching him compete in a race at the Texas Motor Speedway!
The famous driver spent some quality one-on-one time with the little boy, talking to him, signing autographs and just enjoying Luis’ company. They even exchanged gifts! Ricky presented a very special cap and t-shirt to Luis, who, in turn, gave the driver a mini digital picture frame with a few pictures to remember him by and some handmade beaded gifts with both of their names on them. These were the gifts that pleased the famous driver the most. “It’s a good day for me,” Ricky exclaimed as he was given his present. No one had done anything like that for him before!