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Sep-08-2009 14:32printcommentsVideo

Carl Edwards' NASCAR Finish Designed by Cancer Patient (VIDEO)

Tim King interviews Jody Lawrence of Greensboro, Georgia and her doctor, Howard Katzenstein, about the accomplishment and what it means.

Cancer patient Jody Lawrence of Greensboro, Georgia and her doctor, Howard Katzenstein
Cancer patient Jody Lawrence of Greensboro, Georgia and her doctor, Howard Katzenstein. Photo courtesy: KEF Media

(COLUMBUS, Ga.) - On September 6th, at Atlanta Motor Speedway, the No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion sported a colorful new look inspired by the imagination of a 13-year-old cancer patient from the Aflac Cancer Center.

In support of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, Aflac invited children at the Cancer Center to “Color Carl’s Car.” One patient’s drawing inspired the actual design of the car Carl Edwards drove at the NASCAR Sprint Cup race on Sunday night, live on ESPN.

The paint scheme, inspired by Jody Lawrence of Greensboro, Georgia, features an array of colors and a crayon-sketched look.

Edwards wore a matching fire suit and a white helmet signed by children at the Aflac Cancer Center. In addition to Jody’s design, 54 other paint scheme submissions were featured in the Aflac suite at the Atlanta Motor Speedway for viewing by attendees. The drawings will also adorn the pit wall banner for the No. 99 race team.

Childhood cancer is Aflac’s primary philanthropic cause and the number one cause of death by disease for young people under the age of 15. However, due to increased and improved research and treatment, since the 1980s, childhood cancer survival rates have improved from less than 20% to over 80% today.

“This is a wonderful campaign and a great example of how Aflac continues to support childhood cancer treatment and research,” said Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion. “All the kids that submitted designs did a fantastic job. Choosing a final design was difficult, but Jody pulled it out at the finish line.”

The events at the Atlanta Motor Speedway coincide with of a month-long fundraising campaign in which NASCAR fans are being asked to help in the fight against childhood cancer. Aflac has created a text donation program to run throughout the month of September, giving the NASCAR community an easy method to contribute to the Aflac Cancer Center.

Fans can simply text “GoCarl” to 90999 using any carrier, to donate $5 per text, with charges appearing on customers’ wireless bill.

As an additional program element, Aflac has teamed up with Motorsports Authentics to create a special die cast car, featuring the special paint scheme, which was sold on QVC and is still available online at www.nascarsuperstore.com. As part of the initiative, five percent of all profits from the die cast sales will be donated to the Aflac Cancer Center.

The company will also conduct a $1 million matching fundraising program involving the Cancer Center’s cause page on Facebook, which can be accessed at www.aflac.com/aflaccancercenter.

To date, Aflac has contributed more than $50 million to the Aflac Cancer Center. More than 16,000 independent Aflac sales agents contribute more than $225,000 from their commission checks each month. The Cancer Center treats more than 350 new cancer patients every year and has the largest sickle cell disease program in the country. The center treated 6,503 patients in 2008.

Fans can download images of Carl Edwards and the No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion on www.AflacRacing.com.

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