When Mikey was born, doctors informed his parents that their little boy suffered from a serious medical condition called VATERL Syndrome, which is a term that describes a variety of problems related to a child’s vertebral, cardiac, trachea/esophageal and renal systems, and affect their limbs. As part of this condition, Mikey was born with Blue Baby Syndrome, and as the name suggests, Mikey’s heart did not function properly resulting in very low blood oxygen levels. As an infant, Mikey underwent a large intestine resection, and at just four months old he endured open-heart surgery. He was also born without a left thumb or the forearm bone that leads to it.
Through the outrageous generosity of Go Daddy.com, Mikey was given tickets to the big race and got to hang out in the special hospitality tent. There he met with WWE wrestling diva and “Go Daddy Girl”, Candice Michelle, Dale Earnhardt, Jr.’s teammate, Brad Keselowski, and he was the only child to have the privilege of sitting in one of Dale Jr.’s racecars. Mikey even got to take a guided tour of the pits where he witnessed the fast-paced action of the NASCAR world firsthand!
Of course, out of everything that Mikey experienced at the track, his favorite part of the trip was meeting the man himself, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Though he had lots to say to Dale Jr. beforehand, upon meeting him, Mikey was tongue-tied at first and just kept handing Mr. Earnhardt items, including a wooden car that he had made for Dale Jr., and things to autograph. By the end of the meeting however, Mikey overcame his fears and dashed after the famous driver as he got up to leave, grabbed Dale Jr. by the leg and gave him a big hug, proclaiming, “I love you, Junior!” This prompted a warm smile to light upon Mr. Earnhardt’s face as he reached down to pat the enthusiastic little boy on the back. “I love you too, buddy,” he said. It was truly an experience that Mikey and his family will never forget.
After meeting his hero, Mikey and his family watched the race, where he cheered his favorite driver on and was thrilled to witness the real-life speed of the racecars.