It was a huge turnout of people who the youngster had looked up to his whole life and all of that meant an incredible amount to Jake Leatherman’s mom, Crystal.
5-year-old Jake Leatherman found his love for NASCAR when he began his fight with cancer and enjoyed every single aspect: cars, drivers, teams, tracks – the whole sport. In fact, Richard Petty was one of his favorites!
Tragically, young Jake lost his battle to childhood leukemia on Tuesday, November 2nd, but there was one wish left for the boy taken far too soon.
As Molly Grantham writes on her blog, Molly’s Kids, Jake’s mom had a very special request she asked Molly for help fulfilling.
“I want to give my son the sendoff he deserves,” Crystal wrote to Molly. “He recently got into NASCAR and absolutely loves Richard Petty. He loved calling him ‘The King’. But Jake loves a lot of the other cars as well. The Lowe’s car. The M&M’s U.S.A. car. Lots of cars. He loved them all. I was wondering if you knew anyone who would be willing to come in uniform and help carry my baby?”
And what she meant was to carry Jake to his funeral. Molly published the blog post to all of her readers in hopes of making this little boy’s dream come true.
“Jake never got the chance to go to a race,” Crystal continued in her message. “I know it seems an odd ask, but we’d love to honor Jake this way. It would mean so much. We’d greatly appreciate any ideas.”
Magically, someone at NASCAR got the message loud and clear. During his funeral today, multiple NASCAR teams and drivers showed up to help honor young Jake and his love of the racing sport.
Team Penske, Stewart-Haas Racing, Richard Childress Racing, and his favorite driver’s team, Richard Petty Motorsports attended the funeral and paid their respects – showing up in uniform just as he would have wanted.
This beautiful gesture from so many of the NASCAR family just goes to show how much everyone involved loves their fans and will jump at a chance to make dreams come true.
Watch the touching video below and some of the incredible tweets from people involved
— Molly Grantham WBTV (@MollyGrantham) November 9, 2016
Just got home from Jake Leatherman's funeral. Gives a true perspective on life. The @NASCAR community is unbelievable. Huge turnout
— Matt DiBenedetto (@mattdracing) November 9, 2016
— Ryan Ellis (@ryanellisracing) November 9, 2016