PHOENIX (Feb. 18) — World champion drag racer Jeg Coughlin Jr. will have a little extra motivation this weekend at the 26th annual Arizona NHRA Nationals as he races with the support of his new friend, Jacob Valencia.

Jacob is a young drag racer who enjoys boxing, skateboarding, hiking, and fishing. Recently, Jacob was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a type of cancer usually found in young men aged 15-21. Facing 28 weeks of chemotherapy, Jacob has maintained a positive attitude, as revealed in his latest blog entry.

“Second round of chemo went really good. The side effects the doctors said would happen thank God haven’t happened (knock on wood). I would really like to thank my nurse Lisa; I love her she’s awesome! I really trust Dr. Shah and Dr. Williams I think they’re great too. They make me feel like this will all be over soon. Thanks to everyone for their prayers. I know that’s helped me so far. I know the Lord is watching over for me. I’ve also met a lot of people in the hospital that are worse off than me and I want to ask the Lord to watch over them too.”

To honor Jacob and his spirit, Coughlin will carry special stickers in the cockpit and on the doors of his Chevrolet Cobalt. He’s also extended an open invitation for Jacob to come to the drag races and serve as an honorary crew chief for the day.

“Our family has been very involved with finding a cure for these terrible diseases for several years now through our JEGS Racing for Cancer Research foundation,” Coughlin said. “I’ve had the great pleasure of meeting so many cancer survivors and others battling the disease and every once in awhile someone really touches your heart in a special way. I think the fact Jacob is a drag racer like me made him stand out and I’m very much looking forward to having him out at the races.

“He’s in a big fight right now and we want him to know we’re thinking of him. Hopefully, we can put a smile on his face.”


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