The No. 42 Chevrolet, driven by Matt Kenseth, takes on a new look and picks up a passenger this weekend at Kansas Speedway as Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR) and AdventHealth race to highlight breast cancer awareness. The No. 42 AdventHealth Chevrolet will include pink accents to honor and celebrate breast cancer patients and remind women to be proactive about their health. Over the passenger door, the car will also feature the name of a local breast cancer survivor, Kirstin Blocker, who was treated at the AdventHealth Cancer Center Shawnee Mission.
On Oct. 16, 2019, Blocker felt a lump in her underarm. The then 44-year-old mom of five was in great health, an avid exerciser and had no family history of breast cancer. Seeing all of the pink Breast Cancer Awareness Month promotion encouraged her to schedule a mammogram, just to be safe. She was diagnosed with Stage III metastatic breast cancer and began an intensive treatment plan that included chemotherapy, radiation and a double mastectomy. One year after finding her initial lump, Kirstin has no evidence of the disease. She’s passionate about sharing her story because she knows there are many women who may have the same thoughts she did, but who won’t schedule a mammogram until it’s too late.
Prior to getting on track, as a way of showing support and gratitude for the work done by AdventHealth’s care teams, CGR and Ross Chastain, who has driven for AdventHealth this year, stopped by the AdventHealth Shawnee Mission campus with Ross Chastain to unveil the car and do burnouts in the parking lot. Blocker and her family were in attendance to help unveil the car. Additionally, Chastain and Kenseth virtually met with patients to hear their stories and show their support.
“It was great to be at AdventHealth Shawnee Mission today to honor the many women who are fighting breast cancer and to celebrate with those women who have thankfully beat cancer. It’s not always an easy topic to discuss, but hopefully the No. 42 car will be a good reminder to everyone to take an active role in monitoring their health. It was also nice to thank the great care staff at Shawnee Mission for the work they do every day to support patients in this area and help them feel whole.”
AdventHealth, one of the nation’s largest faith-based health systems, is actively engaged in helping people in the Kansas City area fight breast cancer, and other cancers, through the expert care teams at the AdventHealth Cancer Center Shawnee Mission. The center is a nationally recognized cancer treatment facility, with physicians having access to a wide range of care resources, including disease-specific and evidence-based treatment guidelines, safety practices, and professional education. AdventHealth Cancer Center Shawnee Mission collaborates with other nationally recognized cancer centers, bringing together decades of expertise, multidisciplinary care, and research to provide patients in the Kansas City region with the highest level of care possible.
“We are so grateful to Matt and Ross and the entire Chip Ganassi Racing team for their willingness to highlight breast cancer awareness in Kansas City this weekend. Kristin Blocker and her family are an inspiration to many others currently fighting or who will soon fight breast cancer, and we look forward to honoring her on the No. 42 car at Kansas Speedway on Sunday, Oct. 18,” said Simran Elder, MD.