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Update: It's Life in the Fast Lane for Manassas Boy

He's On Track To Raise Funds for Families of Cancer Patients

Timmy Tyrrell remembers the first time he tried Go-Kart racing at the age of 4 at Old Dominion Speedway in Manassas.

“I was a little scared, but once I tried it, it was like ‘hey it’s not too bad, it’s fun!’” the 7-year-old Manassas boy said.

 Then competition struck, as another child told Tyrrell he was too small to race.

More determined than ever, Tyrrell went home and practiced everyday for “hours,” said his mom, Tina, who was worried about the yard and the neighbors.

“And then that child showed up at the next race and Timmy said, ‘See you, bye, ’ took off and won the next 5 races," his mom said.

Tyrell's Go-Kart enthusiasm didn’t end after participating in “Kid Cart 1,” the beginning level at the Speedway.

Timmy saw pictures of his cousin, Audrey, age 4 ½, who had cancer. Then, he saw a family friend, Ella, age 6, who was also suffering from cancer. He noticed she had no hair.  

He approached his father, Timmy. “Dad, I think I want to start a charity. Let’s raise money for kids with cancer, I want to help them,” the first-grader at R.C. Haydon Elementary recalled.

It didn’t take long for father and son to combine their love of racing with a desire to help families of cancer patients. Now, when young Timmy races the Karts, sponsors, relatives and friends donate to Inspired Athletes, a 501(c )(3) for each lap he makes, or they  pledge a dollar amount. The charity aids families of cancer patients.

“The biggest problem facing parents (of kids with cancer) is they have to take off work and run out of paid leave. Also, their support network is not as wide. They are behind in car payments and electric bills, just in trying to care for their child,” said Timmy's  dad.

Through Inspired Athletes, young Timmy—with his father as crew—is specifically raising money for the Jeffrey Virostek Fund, named for a 4-year-old Chantilly child who died of leukemia.

Timmy is thrilled people are supporting his plight. “A lot of people want to donate money to me,” he says with a shrug.  

Mom Tina said Timmy’s always been “very compassionate, very caring” and donates toys and items regularly. His aunt and Grandfather are in wheelchairs, so he’s “always been aware of disabilities, he’s very aware of helping others. He has a very special way about him.”

“I just want to help people because everyone’s quitting their jobs to help their child. I want them to buy things and live,” Timmy said.  

Tina Tyrrell acknowledged: “We’re teaching him to make a difference in this world.”

Timmy said he doesn’t know how long he’s going to race, but knows he loves it. “I figured out something:  Anything with wheels I want to try,” he said.

Still, Timmy knows he can’t just race Go-Karts all day. His teacher doesn’t appreciate his potential celebrity status as the next Dale Earnhardt Jr.

“I still have to do homework," he lamented.

Editor's Note: Know a great kid doing a great thing? They may be our next Patch Whiz Kids honoree.  Submit your nomination in our comment box below or e-mail the information to your truly grateful local editor at erin.gibson@patch.com. 

Holly Bowne February 15, 2011 at 02:59 PM
Great story!! We can learn so much from kids, can't we?!
Kristine Meldrum Denholm February 15, 2011 at 03:02 PM
I know, Holly! I found this boy to be so amazing. A very articulate, focused and smart little boy. And having lost my own dad to cancer, I think it's awesome what he's doing for the families!
Tina Tyrrell February 15, 2011 at 03:30 PM
Great article! Thank you so much Kristine for putting a spot light on our son and his Mission. He will be so thrilled to see this when he gets home from school. It's people like you who encourage our son to continue on this path in life of making a difference.
Kristine Meldrum Denholm February 15, 2011 at 03:44 PM
Thank you Tina! You have a wonderful little boy there-- I loved meeting him and your family! It's so awesome to see kids recognized for doing something so kind!
Erin Gibson (Editor) February 15, 2011 at 04:19 PM
This little boy is such an inspiration. I read the article to my 5-year-old little girl today. I think it is a great lesson for our youth on helping others and not always putting yourself first!
Tina Tyrrell March 02, 2011 at 02:46 PM
Just a quick follow up his elementary school is broadcasting an interview with him today & the school will be putting out buckets to collect change. Thank you so much for highlighting this. I see great things happening. Proud mom!
Kristine Meldrum Denholm March 02, 2011 at 02:48 PM
That's tremendous, Tina!! Good things are happening because of your son---you have every right to be proud! Congratulations on your family making a difference!
Tina Tyrrell March 23, 2011 at 01:31 PM
Timmy's elementary school held a two week fundraiser for Mini's Mission and collected over $800.00. We are so thrilled his school wanted to make a difference and the students, faculty and parents really came through. I posted some pictures of this fundraiser. The Manassas City community is amazing.
Erin Gibson (Editor) March 23, 2011 at 02:23 PM
That is great news, Tina. I am so glad the fundraiser was so successful! Timmy is truly a 'whiz kid.' The sky is the limit for this little guy!
Tina Tyrrell May 11, 2011 at 12:48 AM
Hello Patch! Just posted a video of Mini Timmy presenting a check for monies to date he raised for the Jeffrey Virostek Memorial Fund. Still fundraising through November 2011. Great event & couldn't have spent Mother's Day any other way. Take care, Tina
Tina Tyrrell September 16, 2011 at 06:30 PM
Quick update on Mini Timmy's Mission "Burn Rubber to Help Another." We have officially past the $6,000 mark in donations (March - September 2011). Timmy will continue to raise donations indefiniately! Still extremely dedicated & passionate.
Erin Gibson (Editor) September 16, 2011 at 07:01 PM
I love hearing these updates about little Timmy's big accomplishments. Thanks, Tina. I think its time for Patch to do another article on Timmy =)
Tina Tyrrell September 16, 2011 at 07:04 PM
We would love for you to do another article on Timmy. He is making an impact everywhere he goes, from his school, the go kart track (parents & children), as well as speaking at an upcoming Porsche Club of America event later this month! BTW keep up the great work - love Patch!
Erin Gibson (Editor) September 16, 2011 at 07:06 PM
Great, Tina. I will email you early next week and we will set something up. Looking forward to it!
Tina Tyrrell September 30, 2011 at 02:14 PM
Erin - Awesome news for Mini Timmy. NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams will be coming out October 15 to interview Mini Timmy and film him racing at King George Speedway for a segment called "Making a Difference." We are obviously beyond excited about this & I'll keep you posted on when it will be aired.
Tina Tyrrell October 14, 2011 at 02:16 PM
I just word that the NBC Nightly News segment will air this Monday, October 17, 2011 on Channel 4 between 7-7:30 pm. Hope you can catch it.
Kristine Meldrum Denholm October 14, 2011 at 02:24 PM
That's wonderful, Tina! Congratulations to all!

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