Race car driver overcomes cancer

Racer overcomes cancer to help others

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Jess Heitman has been building and racing cars for more than 50 years.  He raced the Mazda Miata he built in national events all over the country.

In 2015 things changed. He was diagnosed with stage-four lung cancer. He also had a brain tumor and a tumor on his spine.

Doctors gave him six months to live. Right now he is in remission. During his treatment he started building another car.

“It took 14 months to build, some days I could only work on it for an hour," said Heitman. "This car is built to give people a ride in a real race car.”

With his racing days behind him, Heitman plans to give as many rides as possible so he can share his passion for racing with others. This summer he’ll be at the Dash for Kids fundraising event giving rides to kids. Many of them have cancer.

You can learn more about that event here

© 2017 KGW-TV


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