Michael Annett has "Will Power" to Help Raise Awareness for Leukemia Des Moines, Iowa (July 26, 2009) -- Will Krueger, a five-year-old from Des Moines, Iowa was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in 2008. As a close family friend of the...
Michael Annett has "Will Power" to Help Raise Awareness for Leukemia
Des Moines, Iowa (July 26, 2009) -- Will Krueger, a five-year-old from Des Moines, Iowa was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in 2008. As a close family friend of the Kruegers, Nationwide Series driver and Iowa native Michael Annett decided he wanted to help raise awareness for Will's cause by organizing a helmet raffle during Iowa race week.
Supporting Will in his battle against the disease, Michael proudly wears a "Will Power" sticker across the front of his helmet shield each week. "Will Power" is Will's motto in to help him through his battle with Leukemia. Michael also sports a blue 'Will Power" bracelet.
"When Will was diagnosed with Leukemia, it really hit close to home. I knew I wanted to help out in some way, and with the help of Indocil Art and Bell Helmets, we were able to pull together a race related raffle to contribute to Will and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Team in Training," said Michael. "The Kruegers are good friends of mine, so being able to help them means a lot to me."
The Kruegers are honored that Michael took the initiative to arrange the helmet raffle for Team Willyk.
"Michael is a close family friend and has been a big supporter of Will during his battle with Leukemia," said Will's father, Nick Krueger. "We are very grateful to Michael and his team for helping us drive our mission in honor of Will."
Every five minutes a family receives news that a loved one has Leukemia or Lymphoma. Unfortunately, the Kruegers became one of those "five minutes." Fighting against Will's diagnosis with cancer, they have remained strong and joined together with several friends and family members to form a fundraising arm, Team Willyk, to support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Team in Training. The group's hope is that with the work of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, that the five minute statistic soon slows to every hour, then just once a day, and eventually to where no family has to be told that someone they love has cancer.
"Team Willyk is committed to raising money for research because we are convinced that the research has saved Will's life. We want to help find a cure for Leukemia and to improve the quality of life for survivors. We look forward to the day that we can tell Will, 'You can do anything Will because you beat cancer!'" said Nick.
In Iowa Speedway's Nationwide Series debut, Michael is reaching out to the rest of the Nationwide Series drivers for their support by autographing the helmet. Not only will the helmet feature driver autographs, but it will also feature the unique artwork of Ryan Young of Indocil Art, designer of Michael's racing helmets.
Ryan donated his time and creative efforts in designing the helmet for the giveaway. Ryan's father, David Young, was diagnosed with Leukemia 14 years ago. Doctors predicted that David would only have four years of life left, but with willpower and determination, David fought the disease and today lives a completely productive lifestyle.
"Once I heard Will's story, I didn't even hesitate when I was asked to help," said Ryan. "I'm frequently asked for charitable donations of my artwork, but this particular cause is one that stood out to me. Since my dad suffers from the same disease and I'm familiar with its effects on a family, it was a project I enjoyed working on because the cause is so close to my heart."
To enter to win the commemorative helmet signed by the drivers in the U.S. Cellular 250, you can purchase raffle tickets on race day at Iowa Speedway, at U.S. Cellular in Knoxville, Iowa from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday, July 27, at U.S. Cellular in Johnston, Iowa from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 28, and at U.S. Cellular in Urbandale, Iowa on Wednesday, July 28 from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Michael will be on-site signing autographs at each of the listed U.S. Cellular locations during these times. The cost of tickets is $5 per ticket or five tickets for $20.