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SIRIUS NASCAR Radio Every Race and Everything In Between. Check out the blogs of two of the hosts: The Morning Drive's David Poole and Sirius Speedway's Dave Moody

 
 
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Old 06-15-2008, 07:04 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default I need your help -- Pennies For Wessa

Folks, I hope you will forgive a personal thread on here but I want to let you know about something I've started for the family of Wessa Miller, the girl who in 1998 gave Dale Earnhardt the lucky penny he had on his car when he won the Daytona 500. I wrote a story about her in February, 10 years after her brush with NASCAR history, and since then I've gotten to know the family a little. Wessa's dad, Booker, had emergency open-heart surgery a couple of months ago and their lives became even more complicated.
Below is the column I wrote Sunday about Pennies For Wessa, the fund I've had set up at a bank near where the Millers live. And here is a link to the original story I wrote in Februray.

http://www.thatsracin.com/topstories/story/11012.html

If you would like to help, send a check made out to Pennies For Wessa to Pennies For Wessa, Attention: Mike Damron, Community Trust Bank, PO Box 39, Mouthcard, Ky. 41548. It surely would be appreciated.

DAVID POOLE
The Charlotte Observer
Saturday, Jun. 14, 2008

It's Father's Day weekend, and that's a good reason to revisit the Miller family.

I last wrote about the Millers - Booker, Juanita and Wessa - in February, on the 10th anniversary of Dale Earnhardt's victory in the 1998 Daytona 500.

Wessa was a memorable part of that great NASCAR story. She was the 6-year-old girl who went to Daytona through the Make-A-Wish Foundation to meet Earnhardt and gave him a lucky penny. Earnhardt glued that penny to the inside of his No. 3 Chevrolet and, finally, won stock-car racing's biggest event after two decades of frustration.

Family is exactly the right word to describe the Millers.

Wessa, now 16, has spina bifida and uses a wheelchair. Her parents, her extended family and neighbors in the small eastern Kentucky town of Phyllis, work hard to take care of her.

That job, however, took a tough turn about two months ago.

Juanita and Wessa were away in Lexington, Ky., making one of their regular trips to Wessa's doctors in the van that Earnhardt gave her after she gave him the lucky penny. Back home, Booker went to see his doctor in Pikeville.

He'd been having discomfort in his chest along with some shortness of breath. The doctor ordered some tests and he went in two days later. The doctor eventually decided to do a heart catheterization and found an aneurysm on Booker's aorta.

"The doctor told me that even if I was in the hospital with him standing there, unless I was prepped and ready for surgery, he wouldn't have time to save me if that thing blew," Booker said.

He was taken to surgery immediately.

"I prayed for God to let me come out of there," Booker said. "When I came to I thought I was going to die because I knew that a man couldn't be in that much pain."

Booker has a thing about people touching his face. He can't abide it.

"But in that hospital, I sent for my family and asked them all to touch my face," he said. But instead of those touches turning into farewell gestures, they seemed to help begin easing Booker's pain.

"When I saw them, I knew I had something to live for. And then, I came on out of there."

The aneurysm was repaired, but the recovery was just beginning. Juanita now had to take care of her husband as well as her daughter, which she's done with grace, patience and love.

Booker spent four weeks basically looking at the four walls of the house. He gets out to the garage behind the house some these days, but he still can't lift more than 25 pounds. That means he can't help Juanita get Wessa into and out of the bathtub and do a lot of other things he used to do to make life a little easier.

When I wrote about the Millers in February, a lot of people who saw the story asked me how they could help. I thought that I had something worked out to get them help on a new van, or at least some repairs made on the one they have.

I know things don't get done overnight, but patience is not one of my virtues. I've got to try something. I figure that if Wessa's lucky penny could make so much difference for Earnhardt in the Daytona 500, our pennies might make a difference for the Millers.

So I've set up Pennies For Wessa.

With the help of Mike Damron at the Community Trust Bank in Mouthcard, Ky., we've set up an account for anybody who'd like to help to send whatever they want to.

Every penny will go to the Miller family, for things like bathroom apparatus to help Wessa get in and out of the tub or anything that Juanita needs to help her take care of her daughter, her husband and herself.

The Miller family never asked for anything. They live with faith that God will provide for them and that He will give them the strength to deal with what life brings.

The way I see it, though, God shouldn't have to do it all by himself.

If you would like to help, send a check made out to Pennies For Wessa to Pennies For Wessa, Attention: Mike Damron, Community Trust Bank, PO Box 39, Mouthcard, Ky. 41548.
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Old 06-15-2008, 10:10 AM   #2 (permalink)
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No need to worry about it. All you have to do is ask, and we're here for you...

They should set up a paypal account. Makes it easier to send money & they can waive the fee if they ask them.

Thank you, Mr. Poole for letting us know...
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Old 06-15-2008, 10:29 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I've stickied this thread, so it will stay at the top of the NASCAR forum indefinately.

Thanks for sharing this story, Mr. Poole!
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Old 06-15-2008, 12:24 PM   #4 (permalink)
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In the mail monday morning David...thanks for bringing this to our attention and our prayers are with the family.
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Old 06-15-2008, 12:52 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Old 06-15-2008, 02:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Me and my wife have both wrote checks David. No matter what goes on this board or off, I think racers and race fans are some of the most helpful people in the USA.
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Old 06-18-2008, 08:35 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Yesterday morning DP told us that someone 'donated' a web site to provide better communication and hopefully soon a way to donate online. Go to:

http://www.penniesforwessa.org/
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Old 06-19-2008, 08:04 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Donation for Wessa

I have a timeshare week I traded for that I cannot use. It is a one week studio that can be used at four and five star resorts all around the world. The only place it cannot be used is in Orlando.

It has to be used by mid April and I do not have the time to use it - If anyone is interested and I can get a resort and date that they want I will give it to someone if they will give a donation to Wessa.

The timeshare week is worth anywhere from 1500-3000 depending on the choice of resorts. If anyone is interested I will get them a list of choices available and then see if there is availablitiy.

Not sure on the amount of donation - I am thinking around $500? You cannot stay at a Motel 6 for 500 anymore let alone a 5 star resort. If anyone is interested please e-mail me myslakkie at yahoo dot com.
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Old 06-20-2008, 09:19 AM   #9 (permalink)
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David Poole,

I copied and pasted your post here onto the Jimmie Johnson "MOJO Crew" Message Boards http://chosenone48.proboards104.com so that the 200+ members over there could read your story and possibly make a choice to donate.

Thank you for initiating this effort for this family.

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Old 07-02-2008, 05:44 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Tuned in today to hear Kelly (who was great by the way) and Wessa and her Mom were on for a bit. GREAT cause there David...and hearing those 2 today has me sitting here contemplating how much to make out a 2d contribution for. Ya gotta feel good David..
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Old 07-02-2008, 05:55 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckAusTex View Post
Yesterday morning DP told us that someone 'donated' a web site to provide better communication and hopefully soon a way to donate online. Go to:

http://www.penniesforwessa.org/
PayPal and Credit card usage also available on the site listed above.
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Old 07-02-2008, 10:33 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I heard of this today as well on TMD. I was about in tears thru some of it. I know you're not looking for praise David, but good for you. Like you stated your wife aid, You found each other for a reason. keep it up.

I also like the letter that Juanita read:

Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass. Life is about learning how to dance in the rain
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Old 07-06-2008, 10:17 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Thanks all for posting this here ... sometime you get so caught up in life that you forget to look things up even though you mean too. Wessa and her family are amazing and it is my honor to help them.
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Old 11-25-2008, 07:32 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Christmas time guys and gals...got a little extra for Wessa???? Confirmed with David Poole that this is still going on and PayPal link above is still functional.
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