|Derek Esquibel, 17, goes to battle in his fight against Crohn's, this Father's Day.|
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
LOOKING FOR A DIFFERENT FATHER’S DAY GIFT? TAKE DAD RACING AT AN INDOOR GO-CART TRACK AND HELP RAISE FUNDS TO BATTLE CROHN’S DISEASE
By Diana L. Chapman
For the second year in a row, San Pedro High Student Derek Esquibel – who battles with Crohn’s -- will host a fundraiser at the K1 Speed racetrack this Father’s Day weekend in his “race against Cohn’s.”
Derek, 17, an auto racing enthusiast, decided to combine his love for racing with his drive to prevent Crohn’s disease – an illness no child should suffer from, he said. He’s gearing up this weekend, both Saturday and Sunday, to bring funds to the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America through the electric go-carts racetrack.
Fliers will be passed out in front of K-1 in Torrance. For each $20 race purchased, K1 will donate $5 to the foundation.
Since a severe episode in 2009, which dramatically threatened his health and kept him hospitalized for a month, Derek told his parents that he wanted to shift gears and drive out Crohn’s. It lead him to do several fundraisers in which he’s garnered more than $4,000.
He also talks publicly about his less-than-glamorous illness, which inflames the bowels. In Derek’s case, it impacts both his small and large intestine, which has led to severe weight loss. Stress makes the disease worse and it can be life-threatening.
“It’s horrible to the immune system,” Derek told a group of students at the San Pedro High School Community Outreach Club. “Stress is a big part of it and racing helps me relieve my stress.”
At first, Derek said he was skeptical about having his fundraiser on Father’s Day, but realized “it could be a great way to celebrate.”
Last week, a San Pedro McDonald’s donated cookies for the student to sell at school. He raised an additional $250.
To become part of this, donations will be accepted at K1 or online at:
http://online.ccfa.org/goto/RacingAgainstCrohns Race times are 11 a.m. to 11 on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 7 on Sunday.
K1 is located at 19038 S. Vermont Avenue in Torrance.