Extra Courage For Edwards

Every win for a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver is special to them, but when a victory can help out a child facing medical problems, the victory means even more.

Over the weekend, Carl Edwards had a friend riding with him into victory lane, as he wore a good luck necklace given to him by a patient at the Aflac Children's Cancer Center during the Pep Boys Auto 500.

Earlier in the week, Edwards and David Gilliland had the chance to visit the patients at the Cancer Center in downtown Atlanta where they met a patient named Dalton.

Dalton had a courage necklace in which he got beads for every time he had to come to the hospital. He told Edwards he wanted him to wear it in the Cup Series race for good luck and Edwards gladly accepted his offer.

"It was really cool," Edwards said of the necklace after the race. "I've still got it on – this necklace here."

Edwards used the necklace to help him get his first win in the Chase.

"He definitely said he wants it back after this race, which is too bad because I think it worked," Edwards joked.

The Aflac Cancer Center, in conjunction with Emory University School of Medicine and the Emory Winship Cancer Institute, is committed to excellence and innovation in pediatric cancer and blood disorders research.

"As everybody knows, there's a lot of people that give a lot in this sport and I didn't realize how much Aflac does for all these kids," Edwards said. "They don't turn one kid away.

"They treat everyone, regardless of whether they can pay or not. They treat a lot of children and they cure 70 percent of the kids that come in there with cancer, so they can go on and live regular lives and succeed at whatever they want to do."

Gilliland helped support the Cancer center by driving a special paint scheme in the Pep Boys Auto 500.

"David and Aflac are giving us an amazing opportunity to increase awareness of childhood cancer and blood disorders on a national level, which will help us defeat these diseases and give more children a chance to grow up and lead fulfilling lives," said Dr. William G. Woods, director of the Aflac Cancer Center and Blood Disorders Service of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.

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