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UC Davis Health System

UC Davis Health System

One of the world's fastest race car drivers lifts the spirits of sick and injured children

Ambrose and patient
Marcos Ambrose visited children in the hospital, including stock car racing super fan Celeb Webb.

Posted July 3, 2012

As part of the "Racing for a Miracle" program, celebrity stock car racer Marcos Ambrose and his vehicle — the No. 9 Stanley Ford — stopped at UC Davis Children's Hospital on June 21 to bring smiles to the faces of patients and their families. His visit preceded his race in Sonoma on June 24.

Ambrose and his pit crew participated with the children in kid-friendly activities — such as remote-control car races, a dunk tank and temporary tattoos — under a tent near the hospital. Ambrose visited the bedsides of hospitalized children who were unable to be transported, including one racing super fan.

"We actually had tickets to the race on Sunday, but had to sell them since our children were in a car accident," said Missy Webb, whose son, 11-year-old Caleb from Fairfield, is being treated at UC Davis for injuries to his spine and abdomen. "He was so thrilled that he got to meet one of the drivers. He's been telling all of his friends to make them jealous."

Ambrose also met his "honorary pit crew" — four children's hospital patients who got to watch the Sonoma race. Their names, and the names of other courageous children who are being treated for unique medical conditions, adorned Ambrose's car to cheer him on. His real crew also demonstrated the high-speed pit-stop adjustments they make to the No. 9 to help Ambrose reach top speeds on the track.

donation to Children's Miracle Network
Ace Foundation representatives presented UC Davis Children's Hospital with a donation as part of their dedication to supporting world-class pediatric care. From left to right are Joanne Mueller and Jody Phillips, Ace Foundation; Lou Manfredini, Ace's home expert; Vince Johnson, chief operating officer of UC Davis Medical Center; Carol Robinson, chief nursing officer for UC Davis Medical Center; and Anthony Philipps, chair of the UC Davis Department of Pediatrics.

"Events like this give our kids a break from the hospital and the chance to get back to their real job, which is to play," said Angie Marin, nurse manager for the pediatric inpatient ward. "The event was a perfect distraction for them and really helped brighten their moods."

Stanley Black & Decker, the Ace Hardware Foundation and Richard Petty Motorsports created "Racing for a Miracle" to support hospitals that specialize in providing lifesaving treatments to children — from birth to young adulthood.

About the Children's Miracle Network

Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) is a nonprofit organization that raises funds for children’s hospitals nationwide. Countless individuals, organizations and media partners unite with CMN to help sick and injured kids in local communities. Click here to learn more.

During Ambrose's visit, the foundation presented UC Davis Children's Hospital — the Sacramento region's Children's Miracle Network (CMN) affiliate — with a check for more than $35,000. Through CMN, the foundation has donated more than $630,000 to support pediatric patient care and research at UC Davis. During the Sonoma race, Stanley gave a check for $100,000 to CMN, and a portion of that donation also will go to UC Davis.

UC Davis Children's Hospital is the Sacramento region's only comprehensive hospital for children, serving infants, children, adolescents and young adults with primary, subspecialty and critical-care services. It includes the Central Valley's only pediatric emergency department and level I pediatric trauma center, which offers the highest level of care for critically ill children. The 110-bed hospital includes a 49-bed, state-of-the-art neonatal intensive care unit and a 16-bed pediatric intensive care unit. With more than 120 physicians in 33 subspecialties, UC Davis Children's Hospital has more than 74,000 clinic and hospital visits and 13,000 emergency department visits each year. For more information, visit children.ucdavis.edu.