Nationally ranked care. Another way our love for kids just keeps on growing.


Driver Allan Middendorf and young fan talk drag racing 
Driver Allan Middendorf talks drag racing with Cardinal Glennon patient and fan.

Smiles on their faces, young patients from ages 11 months to 18 years old, all shyly responded to the guy in the black racing suit with the huge silver helmet. The personal interest and care shown by International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) Funny Car Driver Allan Middendorf couldn’t help but reflect his concern for the kids during his recent visit to SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center in St. Louis.

From a teen boy trying on the big silver racing helmet to a 5-year-old girl inviting him to come watch a special movie, Allan was a hit with the kids (and their parents) who were thankful for a distraction from the hospital routine of daily tests and doctor visits. Young teens found a common bond with Allan in talking about drag racing.

Allan spent a little extra time in each room when a child and/or the parents seemed to connect - giving them a glimpse of the world of Nitro Funny Car professional Drag Racing, or handing out T-shirts, autograph cards and Hot Wheel racing cars. Many of the families were from Allan’s home state of Illinois.

“The staff at SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center in St. Louis were wonderful. It is so obvious that their young patients are the world to them,” Middendorf said.

Middendorf, who recently made his debut in the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) Funny Car competition at the San Antonio Raceway, spent the first 18 months of his life in the hospital.  Because of his life experiences, he makes it a point to visit children's hospitals to bring smiles to kids' faces.  “I want to help the kids see that they should follow their dreams and never take "no" for an answer,” Middendorf said. A philosophy that Allan says has served him throughout his life and professional career.

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