Gregory, a twelve-year-old who is battling a life-threatening genetic disorder, loves cars and watching NASCAR, especially Jimmie Johnson. When Gregory and his family met with wish granters, he shared his earnest wish to meet Jimmie Johnson.
Gregory and his family were flown out to Phoenix, Arizona to not only meet Jimmie Johnson, but also to watch the AdvoCare 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup.
On his wish day, Gregory went to the Phoenix International Raceway and was able to tour the Raceway and the infield. After touring, it was finally time for Gregory to meet Jimmie Johnson. Jimmie’s staff met the family in the middle of the infield and whisked them off to Jimmie’s trailer at the raceway to meet Jimmie.
Gregory was shy at first, and stayed hidden behind his parents, but Jimmie made him feel welcome with a bag of goodies. For the half hour, Gregory sat on the floor with Jimmie and showered him with all types of questions: who his NASCAR friends were, if he had an elf on the shelf, and if he liked country music. He even found out that Jimmie’s favorite food is peanut butter and jelly on toast!
The magic of Gregory’s wish didn’t stop there.
On race day at the AdvoCare 500 NASCAR Spring Cup, Gregory was able to visit the pit area to watch the crews mount tires and meet other drivers. Gregory even stood next to the drivers as they were introduced for the big race.
Before the race began, Jimmie surprised Gregory with a special treat. Because Gregory was so shy during the meet and greet with Jimmie the day before, the two were unable to take a photo together. Jimmie made special arrangements for the two to get the picture together that Gregory will treasure forever.
“Jimmie didn’t have to do what he did,” said Gregory’s mom Kerry. “It was very neat and nice.”
As an extra surprise, Gregory was even allowed to go down to the track to draw pictures and sign the walls and the start/finish line.
“It was everything – it was an opportunity of a lifetime,” said Kerry. “It was a weekend to be normal and put everything aside and just be a family, forget reality, and enjoy ourselves.”