More than 26 years after both his last National Hot Rod Association win, and the accident that left him paralyzed, Hall of Fame Drag Racer Darrell Gwynn was in Scottsdale, Arizona recently for the famed Barrett-Jackson Auction. This year he sold a 1964 Ford Galaxie 500XL Custom Hardtop, donated by Mr. and Mrs. Frank Tiegs, to benefit The Darrell Gwynn Chapter of The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis. The proceeds of the car auction supported the wheelchair donation to local paralyzed child, Derik Hanson who was paralyzed by Transverse Myelitis at 6 months old, and for paralysis research at The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis.
“I am happy to come to Scottsdale and auction off this truly unique car from my good friend Frank Tiegs, and use some of the proceeds give the gift of mobility to Derik. As a racer, I’ve believed in the power of cars, and with them I’ve been able to support a great cause and help others,” said Darrell Gwynn.
As a world champion racer in the 80’s, Gwynn was at the top of his game and chose to donate a portion of his winnings to The Miami Project, and continued to do so after his accident. He felt so strongly about Marc Buoniconti’s struggle to find a cure for paralysis, and the plight of those suffering from paralyzing spinal cord injuries, that he personally placed the iconic Miami Project wheelchair logo in a prime location on his race car to show his support.
“Darrell has been a true champion in all aspects of his life,” said Marc Buoniconti, President of The Buoniconti Fund and The Miami Project. “He has touched thousands of lives and we are thrilled to have the Darrell Gwynn Chapter as part of The Buoniconti Fund family. He continues to do great things as we strive toward our goal of helping better the lives of those living with paralysis, and ultimately finding a cure.”
Eighteen years ago, Darrell and his wife Lisa, a University of Miami Miller School of Medicine pediatrician, were direct beneficiaries of some of The Miami Project’s miraculous research advances when they gave birth to their daughter Katie through The Miami Project’s fertility research program that helps paralyzed men achieve fatherhood.