Benefit for a ‘rock star’

Published 11:12 am Saturday, June 5, 2010

SUFFOLK—Having returned on Thursday from her 12th surgery in the past year, Madison Arnot has spent more time in the hospital than any 10-year-old should have to spend.

Madison has FAP — familial adenomatous polyposis — a cancer-causing gene inherited from a parent. For Madison, the cancer first showed up when she was nine.

Through it all though, the Suffolk girl has taken everything in stride and is facing her cancer like a “rock star,” the nickname she gained from her doctors at the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters.

To give Madison a reason to rock out and to help with the more than $3 million in medical bills the family has amassed during the last year, Shawn Balluzzo — a race car driver at Langley Speedway — is putting together a fundraising effort.

Balluzzo is bringing Madison and her family to the Langley Speedway on June 12 and will race all six NASCAR division races — a total of 265 laps — and hopes to fill the entire stadium. All proceeds from the race will go to the Arnot family.

“I’m nervous and excited, and may have bitten off more than I can chew, but I want to do what I can,” Balluzzo said.

As a further incentive for race fans to help out with the fundraiser, a client of Balluzzo, NASCAR racer Tony Stewart, signed a bumper from his 2010 Daytona 500 car and is auctioning it on Ebay for Madison.

To help make the night fun for Madison, Balluzzo sent templates of his car to Madison for her to design. The car will feature that design on the night of the race.

A Facebook account — Rock Star 265 Race for Life: Benefiting Madison Arnot — also has been set up for Madison and the event.