Better Days

ONTARIO, CANADA- - In 1996, Jeff Gordon traveled to Canada as part of DuPont's 40th Anniversary. While he was there, the Starlight Foundation arranged for him to meet Justin, a 12 year-old fan of Gordon's who was seriously ill. DuPont and the Starlight Foundation, assisted to make that happen. After meeting him that day, Jeff said, "Justin isnít as fortunate as most of us and it makes you understand how important life is. When you lead a life like I lead, and people want your autograph and want to take your picture, and then I get to meet kids like Justin who the Starlight Foundation has brought here and it makes me appreciate every day, more and more. It's like a dream come true for him to come here and meet me, tonight, but it's a dream come true for me to have a little boy, like this, who wants to meet me. I feel lucky and itís a real pleasure."

Since meeting his hero in 1996, Justin's condition has improved greatly. Justin's mother, Shirley, recently sent in this update. It made my day. I hope it makes yours also.

July 19, 1998

Hi everyone,
I am the mother of Justin who you can read about under the Starlight Foundation link. I want Jeff and others to know that Justin is doing remarkably well. He has come a long way since his special day with Jeff and the DuPont people. In May of 1997 he had his last prednisone treatment by I.V. Earlier this year he finally came off the oral prednisone, after a couple scary times. Justin has been off prednisone for 4 months now and is doing just great. In May 1998, he had his port-a-cath taken out of his arm. That was a joyous day for us all. Justin will remain on the other medications for at least another year. He has already grown 3 inches and lost quite a bit of weight associated with the prednisone. He is much more confident with himself now and much much happier too. Justin will be going into Grade 9 in September 1998 with a whole new outlook on life. He continues to be thrilled with his #24 go-cart, and is looking forward to attending a go-cart camp this summer not far from his home. I want Jeff to know he still is wearing his Jeff Gordon jacket and has hardly ever taken it off, although I did manage to finally get it dry-cleaned this spring! I hope sometime in the future Jeff and Justin will meet again; maybe at Dupont's 50th anniversary. Wouldn't that be great! My dream is to take him to a NASCAR event to see Jeff race. That would be fantastic! Jeff had quite an impact on not just my son's life, but everyone involved in making Justin's wish come true that day. I thank you Jeff for being the person you are, you truly are special, God Bless you and your family.

With much love from Justin and his family,

Shirley McKinley

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