Challenge Ride for Camp Boggy Creek Inspires Kyle Masson
Kyle Masson’s two worlds collided together in the form of the Camp Boggy Creek Challenge Ride in Orlando when he biked 20 miles for Team IMSA.
Kyle Masson, a 2017 IMSA Prototype Challenge and Tequila Patron North American Endurance Champion, currently drives the No. 38 Centinel Spine/Restitute Health LMP2 and is the youngest sitting Board Member of Children’s Miracle Network and Arnold Palmer Hospital Foundation. Kyle joined Team IMSA and Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital to support the children of Camp Boggy Creek, a proud member of SeriousFun Children’s Network founded by Paul Newman.
Kyle and his father/teammate, Robert Masson, of Orlando, FL found out that there was an opportunity to represent IMSA while supporting Camp Boggy Creek and Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital in the form of a bike ride. The Masson family enjoys mountain biking in Park City, Utah and put this activity to excellent use helping to raise over 210,000 dollars for Camp Boggy Creek through the incredibly inspired event.
Immediately after arriving for the fundraising bicycle race, they met Evie, the Camper Champion of Camp Boggy Creek and celebrated her courageous battle against Leukemia with pictures and social media moments.
“Evie showed everyone how brave she is,” Kyle said. “It reminded me of how important my role in helping sick children is through my charity support of Children’s Miracle Network and Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital Foundation.”
Camp Boggy Creek is one of many special camps for kids worldwide, supported by the Paul Newman founded charity SeriousFun Children’s Network.
Kyle, typically a racer who loves racing in the rain, and his Robert were ready to do the 15-mile mountain bike course. However, heavy rains turned the course into foot deep mud paths. Robert and Kyle were encouraged to take part in the 20-mile road course on their mountain bikes.
“Doing the course on a mountain bike was less than ideal, but I enjoyed it,” Masson said. “The course took us an hour and fifteen to complete. The entire time, while we were pushing hard, and exchanging draft positions, we reflected on the importance of the camp, the amazing kids and their challenges. We thought about how powerful this IMSA racing opportunity is because I get to inspire and motivate kids.”
Coincidentally, Robert, a world-renowned minimally invasive spine surgeon who is well known for his procedure and medical device innovation, recently was tasked with the challenge of re-inventing the bone marrow biopsy, donation and transplantation procedure, in conjunction with the non-for-profit company Be the Match, the world’s largest bone marrow transplantation company.
“Watching my dad architect all the details of the transplantation procedures over the last few weeks, and then getting to meet some of the kids that need these procedures and hearing how much these kids have had to go through has been awesome,” Kyle said. “Masson has a new understanding of how important his charity work is, and is committed to race even harder to support these kids every time on the track with Performance Tech Motorsports and IMSA.”
Paul Newman, famously known for his late-life racing career after an iconic acting career, is an important historical figure in sports car racing. Robert’s own late racing career push, inspired by Newman. The opportunity to visit Camp Boggy Creek and realizing the connection between racing and healthcare for children made the experience at Newman’s camp nothing short of incredible.
“The Camp Boggy Creek facility is so inspiring,” Kyle said. “I can’t imagine how hard it is for the kids there sometimes. To be there to see the lake and fishing dock where kids learn to fish, a giant food hall is amazing. The facility is welcoming and outdoorsy. It was cool to be in the environment around kids that are currently battling cancer and kids that beat cancer.
“One thing I thought was impressive is the map the camp has that shows all the other camps across the world for kids with different diseases. The camps create this environment where kids can relate to each other and forget about their illness. You keep them in mind as you ride, we’re raising money to help them. That in itself is not a challenge; I want to help.”
Masson’s next challenge is the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta Oct. 10-13. The No. 38 Centinel Spine/ Restitute Health LMP2 will make its return to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship for the final race of the 2018 season. Masson will race alongside co-driver James French in hopes of ending the year on the podium. For schedule, details visit http://imsa.com.