CHARLOTTE, N.C. (July 8, 2011) – – Bobby Labonte and the JTG Daugherty Racing team received the best news all year upon hearing six-year-old Jordan Jemsek returned home this week to Charlotte from Washington D.C. cancer free. She had been in the D.C. area since February for a bone marrow transplant and recovery.
“Jordan left a message for me and it’s awesome to know the transplant worked,” Labonte said. “It’s an incredible story that we were a small part of during the sequence of events that led to her being cancer free.”
Jemsek’s story came to light during a Daytona International Speedway team meeting led by co-owner Tad Geschickter, Labonte and crew chief Frank Kerr in February. Geschickter was looking for ways to give back to the community and team member Joey McCarthy raised his hand and passionately told everyone in the room about Jemsek’s story he read in the Charlotte Observer. It touched him because he has a child Jordan’s age.
“Not only was I excited to hear about Jordan’s homecoming, but I was equally excited to know that she will now be able to resume the life she deserves as a six-year-old girl,” McCarthy said. “I couldn’t be happier.”
Labonte and his team visited Jemsek at Presbyterian Hemby Children’s Hospital before the season started. The visit compelled the team to work with DKMS and sponsors Reese Towpower and Synder’s-Lance, Inc. to help spread the word about Jemsek, who was in the fight for her life against Acute Myeloblastic Leukemia (AML).
“Look at the good that comes out of doing good things for others,” said Francis Bernart, Vice President of Marketing, Cequent Consumer Products. “All of our efforts, prayers and well wishes paid off with the best outcome possible from all of this, Jordan’s life was saved and she will go on to live cancer free.”
Jemsek’s story aired on SPEED and ran on FOXSports.com. Thanks to the awareness generated by the team and its sponsors, thousands of people got swabbed (www.gotswabbed.org) along with JTG Daugherty Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing employees to see if they were a possible match for Jemsek and others.
“Miracles do really happen,” Kerr said. “She’s a special little girl that has touched our lives and we are happy about the news.”