- Carroll Shelby Foundation donates $5,000 to Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital in Loma Linda, California, and hands out gift bags to kids in the pediatric cardiac intensive care unit
- Donation made in honor of 13-year-old Shelby owner and heart transplant recipient Codi Pelton
- Foundation Co-President Neil Cummings meets with hospital and family for donation
GARDENA, CA – Neil Cummings, Co-President of the Carroll Shelby Foundation presented a $5,000 check to executives with Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital (LLUCH) in Loma Linda, California, on November 5, 2018. The donation was made in celebration of tenacious 13-year-old Codi Pelton, whose story inspired the charity’s board of directors to support the hospital’s cardiac intensive care unit with money and gifts.
“Carroll Shelby was inspired by the many children in the organ transplant ward while he was waiting for a heart,” said Mr. Cummings. “He vowed to help them in their race for life, which is why he established the Carroll Shelby Foundation. This donation was made in the name of a courageous young girl who is also dedicated to helping kids in need of an organ transplant.”
13-year old Codi Pelton is a serious Shelby enthusiast. The Peltons regularly enjoy their classic Shelby G.T.350, which has been handed down through the family for three generations. Codi has attended many car events in that vintage Shelby during her young life.
“Codi was born with an underdeveloped heart and a little over a year ago, doctors said she needed a new one,” explained Lisa Pelton. “Codi entered Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital last June to await a transplant. Keeping her mind busy with social media during long hours in the hospital room, a vintage image caught Codi’s attention. It was of Carroll Shelby with several kids draped over a 1967 Shelby G.T.350. As Shelby fans, the photo inspired us to contact the charity to share our story.”
The Foundation board of directors were impressed with the Pelton family and asked if it could support Codi. The family instead asked the charity to help the hospital and many children whom Codi had befriended there.
“We were surprised to learn that young Codi had already earned a reputation for raising awareness, money and most of all, spirits on the pediatric cardiac unit,” said Aaron Shelby, Carroll Shelby Foundation Co-President and grandson of Carroll Shelby. "She‘s a favorite of the kids and medical staff. Her tenacious spirit reminded everyone of Carroll and inspired us to make a donation to the hospital.”
The Children’s Hospital is the only dedicated pediatric hospital in the San Bernardino, Riverside, Inyo and Mono counties. It has 343 beds dedicated just for kids and is one of the largest Neonatal Intensive Care Units in the country. More than 100,000 children come through it each year, LLUCH is also known worldwide as the pioneer of neonatal heart transplantation.
“We are honored by the heartfelt support of the Carroll Shelby Foundation and their connection to our young patients at Loma Linda University Children's Hospital,” said Joanna Deleon, Director of the Children’s Hospital Foundation. “Everyone’s smiles showed how deeply meaningful their visit was this week.”
The charity’s board of directors also asked Carroll Shelby Foundation team member Rafella Golden to create gift bags for the kids. The hospital recommended items that the children needed, such as mini-blankets and socks. Ms. Golden added a car diecast to the care packages, which were hand delivered by Codi to each child in the ward during the presentation.
The Foundation, Pelton family and hospital began to work on a donation and presentation. But on Sept. 24, 2018, a miracle occurred. Dr. Matthew Bock appeared in full Star Wars Storm Trooper uniform with the news that a heart had been found for Codi. A few weeks after Codi received her heart transplant, she and her family were back at LLUCH to hand out the Shelby care packages and help accept the donation.
“Codi Pelton is such a special person,” said Mr. Cummings. “Her story is just beginning to unfold, and we’re so pleased to be part of it. We look forward to seeing her and her family at many more Shelby events in the future.”
About The Carroll Shelby Foundation
The Carroll Shelby Foundation was created by legendary racer and automotive manufacturer Carroll Shelby. Headquartered in Gardena, Calif., the Foundation is dedicated to providing medical assistance for those in need, including children, educational opportunities for young people through automotive and other training programs and benefitting the Shelby Automotive Museum. For more information visithttp://www.shelby.com.
Scott Black of TimePiece PR & Marketing at (214) 520-3430 ext. 3030 or firstname.lastname@example.org