20-year old Jeffrey Goodale is not about to let his cystic fibrosis get in the way of his desire to racecars.
“I want to be able to say I am no different from anybody else, and going to the track does make me feel good about myself and winning races give me a confidence boost,” he admitted during a recent interview with Newsday reporter Will Sammon.
Goodale is now competing in modifieds at Riverhead Raceway on Long Island after spending the last few years driving Go-Karts and Legends. He is also having the time of his life, though he admits it takes getting used to.
“It’s a lot more horsepower, bigger cars, fiercer competition and a lot more fun,” he exclaimed. He is also getting a big kick out of racing against some of the local “stars” he has always looked up to.
While he is also stated he is “not looking for any top five finishes at this point, he feels that is “doing something incredible, and can’t wait to progress even more.”
Cystic fibrosis (CF), also known as mucoviscidosis, is an autosomal recessive genetic disorder that affects the lungs, as well as the pancreas, liver, and intestine, as is most common among people of Northern and Central European heritage. It is now estimated that there are now about 30,000 with the disease in the US and about 4,000 in Canada. While most people are diagnosed by around the age of 6 months, cystic fibrosis can be detected prior to birth by genetic testing, or by a sweat test in early childhood. The most critical symptoms include frequent accumulation of sticky mucus, frequent lung/chest infections, coughing or shortness of breath, sinus infections, “salty-tasting” skin, poor growth and poor weight gain despite normal food intake.
Although Goodale often feels exhausted while racing, he has never had to stop in the middle of an event. He also feels that although he is only 5’8” and 135 lbs, his size poses no disadvantage in this kind of sport.
Note: Current life expectancy for those with CF is approximately 38 years, even with lung transplants.