LONG POND, Pa. – The African boy must have been about 10 years old and suffered from a form of cancer that gutted his frame to just bones.
There was no cure. There was nothing doctors could do except pump the frail child with morphine and wait. He was going to die.
NASCAR’s Jeff Gordon was crushed by a feeling of helplessness watching the young child in agony. Gordon knew that if, somehow, there was exemplary medical care available to the boy when he was first struck by the disease, then perhaps a better fate awaited him.
Gordon is funding programs through his foundation that aid children with cancer by improving their care and their lives.
“I genuinely want to see a child get better. I don’t want to see children suffer,” he said.
It’s that drive that brought Gordon to Rwanda last month to celebrate the opening of the Butaro Cancer Center, the first specialized cancer treatment center in the country. Gordon was joined by former president Bill Clinton and Rwanda President Paul Kagame. The Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation donated $1.5 million to the center.
“That’s what we’re dealing with in Africa,” Gordon said. “Saving lives.”