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Little Boy With Big Heart Gains National Attention

NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams segment to feature local boy who spends his free time helping children with cancer and their families.

. He spends his free time raising funds for children with cancer and their families.

Now, his enthusiasm, talkative personality and desire to help others has gained national attention.

Crews from NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams spent an entire day with Timmy and his family over the weekend, filming him at his Manassas home and racing at King George Speedway for a upcoming segment called "Making a Difference."

"Things went absolutely amazing yesterday [Saturday] with NBC," said Tina Tyrell, Timmy's mother. "They spent the entire day with us from 9:15 am until 9:00 pm."

When asked how 'Mini Timmy' is coping with all the attention, his mother said, "Timmy has 0 fear" and "does not shy away from it at all."

Timmy has given speeches in front of hundreds of people. “He is a child with an adult mentality” and is “very aware and conscientious,” his mother said.

His inspiration comes from his friend, Ella Day, and other kids who have battled cancer. While Ella is cancer free today, there was a time when Timmy saw the family friend suffering from cancer. He noticed she had no hair, and that's when the R.C. Haydon Elementary student approached his dad about starting a charity to help the families of kids battling cancer.

It didn’t take long for father and son to combine their love of racing with a desire to help families of cancer patients through Inspired Athletes, a 501(c )(3), which raises money for the Jeffery Virostek Fund.

Sponsors, relatives and friends donate for each lap Timmy races, or they  pledge a dollar amount to the charity.

 “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.

 The NBC segment is expected to air Timmy’ story this Wednesday, Oct. 19,  at 7pm.

Tina Tyrrell October 18, 2011 at 04:44 PM
Thank you so much for the article. Mini Timmy will be absolutely thrilled to see this when he gets home from school. Wanted to also let you and others know he has a Facebook page where we post a lot of updates if you are interested in following his progress: https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Minis-Mission-Burn-Rubber-to-Help-Another/237519166266460
Tina Tyrrell October 19, 2011 at 12:33 PM
I just received word that the NBC segment will NOT run tonight. I'll update when I get a firm air date. Thanks to all.
Marianna October 19, 2011 at 02:04 PM
Ms. Tyrrell, I wanted to congratulate you and your husband on raising such an inspiring and devoted child! It's also wonderful that Haydon Elementary in Manassas City supported Mini Timmy with his fundraising endeavors! I'm glad I saw your comment that the NBC program will not be televised this evening because I was definitely going to watch. Please post when the new date will be. I would love to see him in action! The world needs many more Mini Timmys!!! Thank you.
Tina Tyrrell October 19, 2011 at 06:11 PM
Thank you so much Marianna for your kind words. We are truly overwhelmed with the kindness of everyone, including Haydon's students, faculty & parents, in supporting our son's Mission. I feel he is inspiring other children at school, the race track and beyond that they to can make a difference. I will post when the air date will be once I get the green light from NBC. Thank you again!
Tina Tyrrell October 24, 2011 at 06:49 PM
Just got word that the NBC segment will run TONIGHT, October 24, on Channel 4 from 7-7:30 pm EST. They also post the segment on their website for those of you who can't watch tonight.
Marianna October 24, 2011 at 08:31 PM
Wonderful! Thanks for letting me know.
Tina Tyrrell October 26, 2011 at 07:20 PM
Wanted to share some amazing news. The Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation just posted today the following: Jeff Gordon was so moved by Timmy "Mini's" commitment to end cancer that Jeff has graciously matched the $7,000 dollars Timmy has raised thus far! Way to go Timmy....keep up the good work! I'm at a complete loss of words at this moment!
Erin Gibson (Editor) October 26, 2011 at 08:27 PM
This is so amazing! I am sure Timmy is a huge fan of Gordon. How did he respond to the news? I am sure he was cool and calm as usual. Great little guy!
Tina Tyrrell October 31, 2011 at 06:45 PM
Erin - I just saw your comment! Mini was absolutely blown away that Jeff Gordon saw him & wanted to help. Jeff Gordon invited Mini to Martinsville, VA this past Saturday to meet him. NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams was there also. NBC is airing the meeting tonight Channel 4 from 7-7:30 pm.
Papa Cheese-O August 22, 2012 at 11:11 PM
Just saw an update about "Mini" on NBC Nightly News. What an inspiration to children and adults everywhere. God Bless him, Ella and their families. The story put a smile on my face and tears in my eyes.
Tina Tyrrell August 23, 2012 at 01:40 AM
Thank you Papa Cheese-O for taking the time to write about Mini. Each and every comment reinforces to him that what he's doing is making a difference.

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