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Family of race car driver provides free colonoscopies

Family of race car driver provides free colonoscopies

Cornelius, NC – The family of a race car driver who died of colon cancer is helping people in need access colonoscopy.

What you need to know:

Former race car driver John Andretti died of colon cancer in 2020

His family works to raise awareness and help people access colonoscopy through the CheckIt4Andretti Foundation

11 uninsured or uninsured people receive free colonoscopy thanks to their efforts

John Andretti had his first colonoscopy in 2017 when he was 53 years old. At the time, doctors diagnosed him with colon cancer.

“He was healthy,” said John’s wife, Nancy.

John Andretti died three years later.

“He’s lonely. He was a good boy. I think we all miss him,” Nancy Andretti said.

Through their nonprofit, CheckIt4Andretti Foundation, Nancy Andretti and their three children, Amelia, Jarrett and Olivia, are working to raise awareness of the importance of early performances.

Currently, the American Cancer Society recommends it as early as 45.

In addition, they worked with the North Carolina Association of Free and Charitable Clinics to identify 11 patients who needed a colonoscopy but could not afford it.

They partnered with Dr. Vinay Patel at the Northeastern Digestive Health Center in Concord to perform a colonoscopy.

The family has ties to the Charlotte area because they moved here in 1995 for NASCAR. Nancy Andretti still lives here.

“We are trying to help fill that void and get people to the necessary tests, so what happened to us is not happening to other families,” said Garrett Andretti.

Patel is excited to be a part of this initiative.

“You are always looking to help the community and trying to make a difference … an opportunity to help patients who really need help,” Patel said.

In some cases, colonoscopy has allowed them to detect cancer early.

He said early screening can save lives.

“If you look for symptoms before you seek help, it may be too late to treat them or do something for them,” Patel said.

Patel said people without insurance can pay up to $2,000 to have a colonoscopy in North Carolina.

John Andretti has been married to Nancy for 33 years.

“My daughters wouldn’t have their dad walk them down the aisle. He was a partner with Jarrett on the racing team. I don’t have a partner,” said Nancy Andretti.

She said their foundation’s effort is to continue raising the awareness that John started when he was alive.

“This is the goal, this is the goal to save lives and carry on his legacy. Saving lives and giving back to the community,” she said.

The family hopes to support more uninsured or underinsured people to access colonoscopy.

John Andretti also continued the racing tradition in his family. He was the nephew of Mario Andretti.

Now, his son, Garrett Andretti, also continues the family legacy as he continues his career as a racing car driver.

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