Little McLaren Fan Needs Big Help

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Initially, it was a trip to Disney World that brought the Grimmett family from Long Island, New York, to Florida in December of 2013. The Make A Wish foundation had set them up with an adventure through Orlando’s magic kingdom so Douglas, 7, his brother Benjamin, 5, and their parents Adam and Bridget could relax and laugh for a little while. But a few extra hours in the car were in order, because Douglas wanted to see a McLaren, and his parents knew just where to take him.

After remembering that a distant relative was part of the Dimmitt Automotive Group family, the Grimmetts contacted him in the hopes of arranging a visit to the luxury car dealership. What Douglas experienced when he arrived at the St. Petersburg location, however, was far more than he expected.

In May 2013, Douglas was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the most common form of leukemia to affect children. According to the Mayo Clinic’s website, it is also one of the most treatable forms of cancer; Medscape lists a 90 percent survival rate for patients who finish treatment.


Since beginning treatment shortly after he was diagnosed, Douglas has been nothing but positive. “Throughout all of this, he’s been the teacher,” Adam, a Sergeant with the New York Police Department (NYPD) SCUBA Team, told us. “He’s knuckled through this all, and he’s had an understanding of everything that goes on. I’m so proud of him, he’s a champ.”

A few members of the Dimmitt automotive family were on hand when the Grimmett family arrived, with a couple of their newest cars ready to take Douglas for a ride. Taylor Sanger, Dimmitt’s multi-media director, was on hand and captured Douglas’ adventure on camera.

The video Sanger created, which you can watch above, shows the Grimmett family touring around the showroom and parking lot, enjoying lunch with the staff and, of course, captures the intense excitement of Douglas. He impressed everyone with his extensive knowledge of the cars they saw by listing off their names and a few details without hesitation, especially when it came to the McLarens, which were his favorite.

Sanger kept in touch with the Grimmetts and discovered that Douglas, despite being such a happy child, still has more than two years of treatment ahead of him. He was so inspired by their story that he decided to help in any way he could. With that, he launched a crowd-sourced fundraiser online, where people can donate any amount to Douglas’ family.

To donate to Douglas and help offset the costs of his medical treatment, you can visit Donations for Douglas on by clicking here. To learn more about acute lymphoblastic leukemia and how you can help the search for a cure, you can visit the website for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society here.

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