Gabby Chaves Brings Hope, Joy and Smiles To Patients at Phoenix Children’s Hospital
Colombian-American IndyCar Racer Gabby Chaves made a meaningful and endearing Racing For Kids® pit stop at Phoenix Children’s Hospital Thursday as he touched the lives of nearly 75 patients and siblings during the two-hour long stop.
The personable 24 year old IndyCar racer, who drives for Harding Racing, greeted youngsters in the hospital’s playroom and in bed-to-bed visits, even donning a yellow hospital gown and mask to spend time with a young boy in isolation, who “loves racing.”
Hospital stays are often long, sometimes boring and accompanied by protracted and painful medical treatments and procedures. So visits by IndyCar drivers are an important part in each child’s recovery therapy as they bring hope, relief and smiles to youngsters who have had very little of that recently.
Gabby’s stay was just what the doctor ordered, as he joked with the patients, talked about his racing career in Colombia, Europe and North America and even shared a secret or two about his plans for Saturday Night’s Race, The Desert Diamond West Valley Casino Phoenix Grand Prix.
Chaves, former INDYCAR Car Rookie Of The Year, signed autographs, gave each child a colorful Racing For Kids baseball cap and posed for a myriad of pictures. ABC Supply Inc. provided an IndyCar showcar, which greeted patients and hospital guests at the back entrance of the highly regarded, 420 bed Phoenix medical facility.
Racing For Kids has a long history in Phoenix. After its founding in 1989, Racing For Kids made its very first IndyCar driver visit to Phoenix Children’s Hospital, which has been a frequent stop in the 28 years since.
The visit also included the unveiling of the new “Official” Racing For Kids racing helmet, which many of the youngsters gleefully tried on to the delight of their parents and hospital staff. The helmet, designed by New Orleans Artist BJ Pinsky, was donated by Bell Helmets and painted by RockStar Paints.
“I am happy we make these visits,” said Chaves. ”They are really good for the kids.”
Always smiling, the popular young driver left Phoenix Children’s Hospital, happily aware that he’d left behind several dozen new fans who will be cheering him on during Saturday Night’s NBCSports 9 PM (EDT) telecast