Caleb Hammond. Photo: Angie Holland, Oskaloosa Herald via AP

Racing stickers pour in for casket of 11-year-old Iowa boy dying from leukemia

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OSKALOOSA, Iowa (AP) — Race drivers and others have been answering the call from an 11-year-old Iowa boy who wants racing stickers to cover his casket after he dies from leukemia.

Caleb Hammond’s uncle, Chris Playle, told The Des Moines Register that his family brought him home to Oskaloosa, about 55 miles southeast of Des Moines, after determining the painful treatments he’d been undergoing at a Des Moines hospital weren’t working and other options offered little hope.

Playle says Caleb’s been home for about three weeks doing things an 11-year-old normally does, but that he tires easily.

Caleb has loved auto racing since the age of 2, when he started visiting his uncle at his home near the Southern Iowa Speedway in Oskaloosa. The two would watch as drivers parked their cars on the street before the track opened and then would head to the stands to see the colorful cars race around the speedway.

“He’s my racing buddy. It was kind of our deal,” Playle said. “I probably had just as much fun as he did.”

His passion for racing is what prompted the request for stickers. Playle said the stickers have been pouring in after social media appeals, helping to keep everyone’s spirits up.

Playle said the family is “just trying to do as much as we can with him while he’s here.”

Caleb’s got to experience racing first-hand on Saturday when he suited up in driving gear and sped around a dirt track in a stock car designed for children. A 12-year-old racer sat beside Caleb to help him learn to work the stick-shift and navigate the track.

Caleb’s father, John Hammond, told The Oskaloosa Herald that the entire family had been looking forward to the racing.

“A goal of his was to be able to drive a race car when he got older,” Hammond said. “It’s like a dream come true.”

Per the Des Moines Register:

Stickers and cards can be sent to Caleb Hammond’s family at 314 North J Street, Oskaloosa, IA 52577.

Dean Wilson out for rest of Supercross season

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“Such a massive gut punch on Saturday,” Dean Wilson wrote on Instagram on Tuesday. “Just as I was gaining good momentum riding well, feeling good and chasing my first win things turned in the blink of an eye.”

With that post, Wilson announced that he will be out for the remainder of the Supercross season, which includes races at East Rutherford, N.J. and Las Vegas, Nev. An MRI earlier in the week revealed a shoulder injury. He also sustained damage to his kidney in a Lap 8 accident while he was running in the top 10.

Wilson’s injuries will not require surgery.

Wilson’s season began with a lot of promise. Earning the holeshot in the season-opening race at Anaheim, Wilson led for a time before narrowly missing the podium in fourth.

Two weeks later, Wilson finished fifth overall in the Triple Crown event of Anaheim II. Those are his only top-fives of the season.

“The tough part of this is I have been trying so hard this year to be back where I need to be trying to get a job for next year,” Wilson continued.

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Such a massive gut punch on Saturday. Just as I was gaining good momentum riding well, feeling good and chasing my first win things turned in the blink of an eye. Started off Denver topping free practice then went on to qualify P1 in qualifier 1. Qualifier 2 didn’t get the cleanest laps but ended with a 4th. On to the main event I was running around 7th on lap 7 moving forward and as I came around for the rhythm section I tripled in and something freak happened causing the bike to nose dive after I tripled in and pile driving me into the ground. The tough part of this is I have been trying so hard this year to be back where I need to be trying to get a job for next year. It’s tough just hoping to have a ride each year. 2nd part is people saying “wilson’s hurt again, big surprise there” when it was something that wasn’t my fault. It’s a tough pill To swallow.. I injured my shoulder and got a contusion on my kidneys. Got MRI and good news is I dodged a bullet on my shoulder and I am just going to give it a few weeks of rest and therapy and see where we are at. Huge disappointment to end my SX season like this. Thanks to my whole team for everything and everybody checking in on me. I really appreciate it. I will be back.

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Next Race: East Rutherford April. 27, on NBCSN and on NBC Sports Gold

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