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April 1, 2021

Catching Up with Our Courageous Kids-Dylan Drouillard

by Rick Muzingo

When Racing For Kids first met Dylan in the summer of 2012, he was a 7 year old out-patient at Children’s Hospital of Michigan.  He and his parents, John and Deanna and his big sister, Emily came to our Kids at the Track event at the Detroit Grand Prix on Belle Isle where he met IndyCar racer Oriol Servia .  We were immediately taken with this bright and enthusiastic young boy.  By then Dylan was already a veteran of three open heart surgeries as well as several more surgeries and procedures.

For the next few years, Dylan and his family joined us again at our Kids at the Track outings at the Grand Prix and they began attending our end of the summer Racing For Kids to the Hill events.  At the 2015 event, Dylan asked if he could give a short testimonial to the assembled guests.  Stepping up to the microphone Dylan related how much it has meant to him and his family to get to know the Racing For Kids team and to be a part of our mission to help sick kids get better faster.

Dylan receives a special Ford Racing Mustang model from Vaughn Gittin at the 2015 Racing For Kids to the Hill event.

When we established the Racing For Kids Courageous Kids Awards program in 2017, we chose Dylan as one of our first recipients.  At this point Dylan was recovering from pacemaker surgery.  He has gone on to be  one of our RFK Ambassadors, telling the Racing For Kids story to other patients and out patients from Children’s Hospital of Michigan.

We checked in with all our Courageous Kids and their families at the start of the pandemic and learned that Dylan needed leg surgery, which was performed over the summer.  During the pre-op preparations for the leg surgery, Dylan’s doctors discovered that one of the wires on his pacemaker had broken and that the pacemaker needed to be replaced.  After trying an experimental treatment to just replace the broken wire, which didn’t work, doctors had to perform a more invasive surgery to replace the broken wire and Dylan’s pacemaker on October 15.  This surgery required a longer hospital stay and recovery time.

The good news is – Dylan has recovered from his surgery and is feeling great.  By this past January he was able to go to Carl’s Golfland to practice his swing and he plans to try out for his school’s golf team. He’s finishing out his school year online but hopes to be back in class next term.

Recently Deanna, his mother, wrote to us:

“We are so thankful for all of the wonderful people we have connected with over the years through Racing For Kids and we appreciate everything and   everyone so much. Seeing all of you is always a highlight for Dylan. He enjoys the events but he truly enjoys the people and connections.”

Keep up the good fight, Dylan! See you at our Racing For Kids to the Hill Event on September 1!