"At 7 years old I was diagnosed with cancer and was given 6 months to live. I went through 2.5 years of treatment and had 50 operations. Dealing with subsequent infections, I spent 3.5 years in total in and out of the hospital. Because of my long stays and familiarity with the hospital, I started providing services to help the staff. Things like answering phones, acting as a point of contact for new kids checking in, being a support system for those scared of their surroundings. With a father in the Air Force, service was in my blood.
Although I had beaten cancer, infections tied to the multiple surgeries had caused a large amount of swelling in one of my legs. I was flown to LA to see a specialist. One day leaving the hospital, I saw a beautiful red Ferrari in the lot. I was taking pictures next to the car, completely in love. The owner said, "I wish I could take you for a ride." I didn't forget that moment for 20 years.
In 2012, the Ferrari Kid was born. We give kids fighting cancer an epic day they'll never forget—riding around in a Ferrari and going on shopping sprees, with their own personal paparazzi and bodyguards. What started with taking one child on a ride has now evolved to serving 400 in the San Antonio, Texas area. They are celebrated and, in that moment, feel special and bigger than the disease that has taken over their lives.
I want to leave a legacy with the @theferrarikid. That happens when you decide your work is not about you—when it truly becomes for other people. If God calls me home today, I hope my organization lives on without me.”
Manny's experiences taught him the value of service and the power of even the smallest act. There are 50 kids a day that are told that they have cancer—one of the hardest things to hear. He wants to help those kids, those FAMILIES, all over the country know that they are not alone.