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Girl with leukemia gets big surprise

Posted at 9:27 PM, Aug 19, 2021

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) -- Sophie Manning was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in June 2020.

During one of her treatments at the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, one of the medical people mentioned a program being offered in conjunction with Richmond Raceway and the NASCAR Foundation.

“NASCAR is doing things in markets all over the country, like these playset builds, in 15 different markets,” Raceway president Dennis Bickmeier said. “So it’s pretty cool to be one of the markets selected for sure.”

The Raceway got Sophie and her parents out of their home for most of the day, taking laps at the track and making a trip to Dave and Buster’s so a crew could put the set together as a surprise.

Despite some rain showers throughout the day, they pulled it off.

“It just turned out to be such a great fit,” Bickmeier said. “It wasn’t a pre-requisite, but they’re big NASCAR fans as well!”

“To see what people do and the things they do for children, it’s just amazing,” Sophie's father, Brendan Manning said. “It’s brightened her eyes to see the things that have taken place in front of her. It makes us just want to go out and do things for others as well.”

This story was originally reported by Lane Casadonte on