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Your Family Now: Waterloo man lives dream of riding with Mario Andretti

Posted at 3:16 PM, Mar 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-16 19:38:09-04

63-year-old Ken Acton of Waterloo, Nebraska is a huge racing fan. He's had tickets to the Indy 500 for more than forty years. He also loves NASCAR. 

This month in St. Petersburg, Florida, this lifelong spectator got to feel the speed firsthand. 

He met racing legends AJ Foyt and Mario Andretti, and he got to take a ride with Andretti behind the wheel.

He described the ride. "Down the front straight away they get up to 150, 160 miles per hour, but then you come to a point when they ram on the brakes. You get down to 10 miles per hour, and as soon as you come out of the turn, they get on the gas again," Acton said. 

Local nonprofit, Dreamweaver Foundation, made this dream come true after Ken's wife Joyce reached out to them. "I wanted him to have his wish, whatever he wanted and I didn't even know what it was yet," she said. 

Dreamweaver Foundation grants the dreams of terminally ill seniors. They arranged and sponsored his ride with Andretti as well as the trip to Florida.

Learn more about Dreamweaver Foundation, including how you can donate to the non-profit organization.

Acton thought he had beaten stomach and esophageal cancer, but recently received the news that he had brain tumors. Doctors gave him 90 days to live. That was just a few weeks ago. 

"If it wasn't for my faith, I couldn't do it because God is everything, and when it's his time to go, he'll take him," Joyce said fighting back tears. 

But Acton isn't done collecting memories. He said Andretti told him that if he makes it to the Indy 500 on May 27th, he'll make sure he gets another ride. 

He and Joyce could not thank Dreamweaver Foundation enough for making this "thrill of a lifetime" a reality. 

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