Whew! Just reading the title of this post makes me tired again. It was four days of non stop action in Daytona. We arrived in the campground on Thursday before the Daytona 500 and hit the ground running. After we set up the fifth wheel we hopped on a shuttle for our first trip to the Daytona International Speedway.
Number one on my bucket list was to attend an appearance by Sherry Polex, an ovarian cancer survivor who works tirelessly to promote ovarian cancer awareness and works with the Martin Truex, Jr Foundation to raise money for childhood and ovarian cancer. After wandering around the midway and buying some souvenirs we headed to the Toyota Racing Experience for her appearance. After the interview was over, she took a lot of time to sign autographs, pose for pictures and talk to the fans. You can learn more about Sherry at SherryStrong.org
The Duel at Daytona that night was the first of the four races we attended.
Beth with Sherry Pollex, advocate for ovarian cancer awareness and girlfriend of Martin Truex, Jr
Henry with the Tototas
Beautiful night for a race
Friday we enjoyed lunch with a water front view at Caribbean Jack’s Restaurant before heading to the race track for the Gander Outdoors Truck Series race.
Getting ready for the Friday night truck race
Sunset before the Friday night truck race
One of the trucks foming out of his pit stop
Panoramic view of the Daytona International Speedway
Saturday morning the United States Air Force Thunderbirds flew right over our campground during their practice. When we made a run to Publix Saturday morning for a few groceries what did we find but Kyle Busch’s #18 M&M truck and car in the parking lot! Oh, the M&M’s were buy one get one free in the store so of course we came out with two bags!
Saturday afternoon we were once again in the stands for the Xfinity Series race.
Pit Stop for #1 Michael Annett Saturday Xfinity Race
Pit Stop for #0 Garrett Smithley Saturday Xfinity Race
XFinity Series Race Winner #1 Michael Annett
The Daytona 500, also called the Great American Race, kicks off the NASCAR season in February every year. Pre-race activities began early in the morning before the race. Fans who purchased a Fan Zone pass were down on the field for a close up view. This year country singer Jake Owen performed for the crowd before the driver introductions. The crowd loved the flyover by the United States Thunderbirds.
Pre race festivities at 2019 Daytona 500
Crowd gathered to watch the driver introductions before the 2019 Daytona 500
Lineup for the 2019 Daytona 500 with infield in the background
Crowd waiting for pre race concert by country singer Jake Owen
Flyover by the United States Air Force Thunderbirds
Flyover by the United States Air Force Thunderbirds
One of the Thunderbirds landing at the airport behind the Speedway
Drivers, start your engines!
2019 Daytona 500
Racing past the infield on the backstretch
Nearing the start/finish line
Turn 1 of Daytona 500
Pit stop for #19 Martin Truex, Jr, 2019 Daytona 500
Race off Pit Road, 2019 Daytona 500
The race was exciting and it was close at the finish line. The winner was #11 Denny Hamlin.
By Monday morning we were exhausted. What better way to relax than to take a leisurely drive down highway A1A. Lunch at Racing’s North Turn Restaurant in Ponce Inlet was followed by a walk on the beach and a drive to see the Ponce Inlet lighthouse.
An after lunch walk on the beach at Ponce Inlet
Racing’s North Turn at Ponce Inlet
Ponce Inlet Lighthouse
After the excitement of Daytona we were ready for a quiet week at at our next destination. Stay tuned.
September is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Teal is the color for ovarian cancer.
Did you know…
A woman’s lifetime risk of Ovarian Cancer is 1 in 75.
A pap test does NOT detect ovarian cancer.
There is NO early detection test for ovarian cancer.
Symptoms include but are not limited to:
Difficulty eating or feeling full after a few bites
Ovarian cancer awareness events take place every September all around the country. Buildings in some cities are displaying teal lights. Teal ribbons and wreathes are on display. Charity events such as runs, walks and races are held in many places.
This year I enjoyed participating in the fifth annual TEAL (Tell Every Amazing Lady) Savannah walk. As an eight year survivor, it was a very fun and extremely emotional day.
It was wonderful meeting other survivors and hearing their stories. And it was very uplifting to see the support these women have from their friends, family and community.
There were many inspirational stories but the one that still brings tears to my eyes is Simone who is going through treatment now. Her family members came from as far away as Tampa and New York to walk with her. I met her cousin who kept saying Simone was a fighter. Simone wore a hooded teal satin cape and boxing gloves to show her fighting spirit.
Camille is another survivor who inspired me. She is currently in treatment and with the support of her two daughters, son-in-law and friends she walked the entire walk.
Children and adults alike enjoyed meeting Wonder Woman and The Little Mermaid Ariel.
After the walk, Wonder Woman joined some of the survivors for a group photo.
Eight years ago this month I was in the middle of my first three rounds of chemo after major surgery and a diagnosis of Stage IIB ovarian cancer.
I’m one of the lucky ones. My cancer was caught early. Six days after a CT scan showed a large tumor, I was in surgery and began treatments a few weeks later. Thanks to early detection, modern medicine, the love and support of family and friends, and the power of prayer, I’m still here today eight years later.
Many women with ovarian cancer are not so lucky. Ovarian cancer is often called the silent killer because the symptoms mimic so many other diseases that it is sometimes misdiagnosed and the cancer isn’t found until it is in late stage.
I urge all of you amazing ladies out there to learn the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer. Know your body and if you suspect anything is wrong, please see your doctor as soon as possible!
From the T.E.A.L. website: Tell Every Amazing Lady About Ovarian Cancer Louisa M. McGregor Ovarian Cancer Foundation’s mission is to promote public awareness and education of the signs, symptoms and risk factors of Ovarian Cancer, while providing support to survivors and raising funds for research in order to find the cure for Ovarian Cancer.