Writing NEDvocate articles each month for FCG, about people who inspire and improve the quality of life for others, I often reflect on my upbringing. If you follow this NED column, you have probably have heard me say, “I was raised by my parents always telling me and my siblings (6), children are a direct reflection of their parents”. Meet Cassidy and Molly Hinds, a mother and daughter who epitomize what a NEDvocate is and how they utilize their platform to inspire others.
“Being in this world for the 20 years that I have has shown me what it means to inspire others and help others find their sources of inspiration. I have done a lot and been through a lot in my life, whether it’s being born at 26 weeks, going through life with my Memaw having stage 4 kidney cancer, or seeing my Friends of Jaclyn adoptees, London go through pediatric cancer at such a young age and her sister A’aleyah be by her side as she goes through everything.
My Memaw always talks about how strong I am and how inspiring I am to be in a sport that is dominated by men but I see her as the strong one. She went through stage 4 cancer with her family by her side every step of the way over 4 years ago and is still here being one of my sources of inspiration.
My Friends of Jaclyn adoptees, Londyn and A’aleyah bring light to a bad situation and always know how to have fun. They will always make me smile and keep me on my toes trying to keep up with them.
Inspiring others has helped me as a person grow in so many ways. I get told at the race track all the time by parents that I inspire their daughters to do something out of their comfort zone or do something that is out of the normal. This always means a lot coming from them because I was once a little girl who could only dream about driving a race car and being those really cool adults who got to go really fast every weekend. I love being someone who can inspire others and I hope to continue inspiring others in every aspect of life”. – Cassidy Hinds
“ I am familiar with having to leave my child some place that was not home as Cassidy was born 3 and half months premature at 26 weeks gestation because I had HELLP Syndrome and my kidneys and liver were shutting down. Cassidy weighed 2lbs 2oz and was in Children’s Hospital for 4 and a half months before she came home.
Being Cassidy’s mom is the best gift I could have ever received. Watching her face light up when she gets in a race car or does something she loves. When smiles at a small fan or when she had a bad night of racing and a fan about 10 yrs old waited in line just to tell Cassidy she did amazing and give Cassidy a hug to help her feel better. Cassidy is a bright light in her own right. Cassidy doesn’t just inspire young girls she inspires adult women and men, moms, and dads too. Some parents will only come to the pits at the racetrack when Cassidy races. I feel, to truly, be an inspiration you have to be genuine, and Cassidy is one of most genuine people I know.
There are so many ways you can give back to your community. We as a family love helping wherever and whenever we can. Whether it’s donating candy for a trick or treat street at Cassidy Alma-mater high school, visiting a school to show kids that there are different avenues to go, other than a four year college or a Girl Scout Troop so they can compare a real race car to their pine wood derby cars. Recently we were invited to a middle school to show some young men that are struggling that there is a future for those that want to go into the area of trades and not a 4-year college. They were so excited to see, learn and hear the race car that it helped them get a little excited about school. It makes my heart happy knowing we made a small difference for the boys and their parents.
It has been an honor supporting the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation and seeing how the children become part of the teams who adopt them. Every race day we are asked about FOJ and what it is or what it does. It’s hard for me to not tear up every time I talked about children with pediatric cancer. The children and parents are so strong. My mom was diagnosed with stage 4 kidney cancer 5 yrs ago and that was one of the hardest times of my life next to when Cassidy was born. Cassidy and I get our strength and compassion from my mom.I feel part of why we help others and try to inspire them so much is because we want to try and make their life easier. If we can we want to help. It’s all about giving back. It doesn’t have to cost you any money. All you have to do is care.” – Molly Hinds