Racecar driver Lewis Hamilton sent a Formula 1 car to a terminally ill young fan who the world champion credits with inspiring his Sunday victory in the Spanish Grand Prix.
Right before Hamilton competed in the Barcelona race, he watched a heartwarming good luck video message from 5-year-old Harry Shaw, from his hospital bed in Redhill, England, and decided to dedicate the victory to him.
“Today, I was just super-inspired by this kid that sent me a message. He was my spirit angel,” Hamilton told reporters after the race.
“We had sent him a card and a cap and I saw that (message) today before going into the race. I was chilled but I was looking for something for inspiration, something to grab onto, so I dedicated today’s race to him.”
He later publicly thanked Harry, who has been battling bone cancer, on his social media page.
“Harry, you don’t know how much this message means to me, buddy. Thank you so much, you are my inspiration today Harry. I will try to make you proud. You are such a strong boy, I wish I was as strong as you, I wanted the world to see how strong you are and ask everyone to send their best wishes and prayers to you during this hard time. Sending you love Harry. God bless you. Your friend, Lewis,” Hamilton wrote on Instagram along with the video of Harry’s sweet message.
After Hamilton’s victory, Mercedes arranged for one of its cars as well as Hamilton’s winning trophy to be flown to Harry’s home, where the child is spending his final days. In April, doctors told Harry’s parents he had just a week left to live but he is still hanging on.
“I don’t know Lewis, but I think what we’ve seen is what a genuine, decent, lovely person he is. That was a heartfelt message he did and he won that Grand Prix for Harry and that means a lot.” Harry’s dad, James Shaw, told the BBC.
“It’s brought smiles into his life at a time when there’s a limited amount of fun to be had, to be perfectly honest,” Harry’s mom, Charlotte Shaw, added.
Harry suffers from Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. Harry’s parents started a JustGiving page to raise money for The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity for their work in bone cancer research. Since Hamilton expressed his gratitude for Harry, the fundraising page raised over $100,000 as of Wednesday.