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Wendell Youth Races To Raise Money, Help Others

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WENDELL — A serious disease can drive some people to give up and some people to giveback. A Wendell boy is giving back at 55 miles per hour, and hopes to raise moneyto help others while setting a record in his go-kart.

Andrew Christiansen has Guillain-Barr? Syndrome.

Guillain-Barr? is a disorder that causes weakness and possibly paralysisof muscles of the legs, arms, and other parts of the body, as well asabnormal sensations. It often follows a virus.

"He wasn't supposed to be able to play baseball or go to a mainline school[and] certainly nothing like what he's doing now,' says Christiansen.

Hisparents kept the diagnosis a secret, and Andrew took a liking to go-karts.

"It's exciting and scary at some points," he says.

Andrew races almost every weekend, and he has a record in mind: "[I'd liketo] set the record for the world's longest go-kart ride."

The current record is 13 hours and 49 minutes. Andrew wants to raise thatto 15 hours.

Andrew and his father are more focused on fund-raising, though: they haveraised over $5,000 for the Duke's Childrens Hospital, and hope to raise$15,000 on the day of his world-record attempt.

"I want to give back," says Andrew. "They helped me so much when I was inthe hospital."

"I believe that you should never say no to a child," says his father. "Ifyou tell a child you'll never be able to do anything, he'll never try. Andif he never tries, he'll never reach his potential."

 Credits

Chip Muller, Reporter
Ron Pittman, Photographer
Julian King, Web Editor

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