Leavenworth Times: Teen has passion for racing and helping others
By Rimsie McConiga
Nicholas Carpenter, a junior at Pleasant Ridge High School, recently organized a gas card drive through his auto racing program. He raised $2,300 for gas cards that were delivered to Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City before the holidays to help families with travel expenses. This is the third year of the drive and more than $7,000 has been given to families in need.
In the summer of 2017, Nicholas got sick during the racing season.“We were six hours north at a track in Iowa,” says Nicholas’ dad, Chris Carpenter. “He hadn’t been feeling well for a couple of weeks before that but it was real bad that night. We took him to the doctor the next day and they sent us to Children’s Mercy Hospital. When we got there his blood sugar was over 800 and it is supposed to be between 70 and 120. He was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes the next morning."
The health experience didn’t dampen Nicholas’ passion for racing. But it did lead to a new and different goal. “We wanted to find a way to help families at Children’s Mercy,” says Nicholas. “We decided to take a group of drivers to meet with the kids but you have to be 18 to do that so my dad takes a group of drivers once a year to meet with the kids and do crafts. So we wanted to find something I could help out with. That is when we decided to raise money for gas cards to help families with traveling expenses. When I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes we made a lot of trips to the hospital so we know how expensive the gas costs are.“Mostly through social media, Nicholas has organized a drive to raise funds for the last three years. The first year, $2,200 was raised. The second year, $1,505 was raised. This year, $2,300 was raised."
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Learn more about Endocrinology and Diabetes at Children's Mercy