Congratulations to the winner of our third annual Graham Rahal Foundation helmet design contest,
Indianapolis, Ind. (August 1, 2014) – Verizon IndyCar Series driver, Graham Rahal, will feature a helmet designed by 10-year-old cancer survivor, Daniel Cooper, when he races in the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma in Sonoma, Calif. on Sunday, Aug. 24. The design was selected through the Graham Rahal Foundation’s third annual helmet design contest which was held in partnership with Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF), a non-profit organization that raises awareness and funds to fight childhood cancer.
Open to the general public since 2012, the Graham Rahal Foundation held its third helmet design contest in conjunction with Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, to give children and families directly affected by childhood cancer the opportunity to submit their personal designs. Members from Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation’s Hero Ambassador Program, family members of childhood cancer heroes who have chosen to get involved with the organization, were invited to create a unique design on a pre-made helmet template with a theme of, “What Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation means to me.” Once the submission period concluded, Rahal selected five designs from the entries that were then posted on the Graham Rahal Foundation contest website at http://www.grfcontests.org where fans could vote for their favorite helmet design. Following a weeklong voting period, Daniel’s artwork was selected as the winning design to be worn by Rahal at Sonoma Raceway.
Following the race, the race-worn HP7 Bell helmet will be auctioned on Rahal’s celebrity eBay page at http://givingworks.ebay.com/graham-rahal/, where 100% of the proceeds will be directed to Alex’sLemonade Stand Foundation.
Daniel submitted his hope-themed helmet design to help find a cure for cancer. “I like racing and I want to help get a cure for cancer,” said Daniel. “My helmet design represents Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation and hope for all kids with cancer. I feel good that I could do something to help.” Daniel’s design incorporates a personal ‘to-do’ list that includes, beating cancer, growing hair and living his dreams. Today, Daniel is focused on the third item from his list. “My to-do list: 1. Beat Cancer – Check! 2. Grow Hair – Check! 3. Living My Dreams – Working on it!”
Daniel’s design will be hand-painted by Art Rotondo onto a HP7 Bell helmet to be worn by Rahal in the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma. Following the race, the Graham Rahal Foundation will auction the race-worn helmet on Rahal’s celebrity eBay page at http://givingworks.ebay.com/graham-rahal/. One hundred-percent of the proceeds from the auction will be directed to Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. For winning the contest, Daniel will receive a hand-painted, full-size RS7 helmet featuring his design and signed by Rahal, that has been donated by Bell.
“It is a real honor to announce Daniel Cooper as the winner of our third annual Graham Rahal Foundation helmet design contest,” said Rahal. “Daniel submitted a truly inspirational design that highlights the impact Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation has made and continues to make for him. Daniel’s personal ‘To-Do’ list has included beating cancer, growing hair, and living his dreams. He is now working on living his dreams and I will be extremely proud to wear Daniel’s design when we race in the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma. A big thanks to everyone who voted for our Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation artists and supported a charity near and dear to Daniel’s and our hearts at the Graham Rahal Foundation.”
Daniel’s mom, Barb Cooper: “Daniel is so excited to have won the design contest! He is one lucky boy. Thank you to all who voted and supported Daniel and all who continue to support Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. Daniel is now working on #3 of his helmet design’s ‘To Do list’!”
Daniel was diagnosed with stage III, intermediate risk, neuroblastoma on April 6, 2005 at 14 months of age. One day when he was 6-months-old, his right eye suddenly became somewhat closed. After receiving a diagnosis of Horner’s Syndrome, an MRI showed a “swollen lymph node” in his neck. Six months later, another MRI showed that it had gotten significantly larger, and a biopsy revealed that it was cancer.
To this day, Daniel has been a healthy, happy, adorable, loving little boy. He had no other symptoms. We were fortunate to have been given a sign to catch this early. Most cases go undetected until they reach a later stage.
Daniel has undergone numerous scans, needle sticks, biopsies and a surgery to place a port in his chest through which he received 4 rounds of chemotherapy at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). Daniel continues to have yearly checkups at CHOP’s Survivorship Clinic. This year we are marking Daniel’s 9th year off treatment, no evidence of disease, milestone!
Daniel is currently going into 5th grade and is loving it! He loves soccer, movies, books, Legos, video games, playing with his friends and older brother Jason (12 years old). He has the best smile and the warmest hugs. He is such a joy. We are so blessed. Written by: Barb Cooper
Daniel’s winning design hand-painted by Art Rotondo onto Rahal’s HP7 Bell Helmet