News Andretti fights cancer and his message is on full display

02:50  19 may  2017
02:50  19 may  2017 Source:   Associated Press

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INDIANAPOLIS — John Andretti can’t shake the sound from his head. The haunting sound of a machine pumping toxic chemicals into his system as part of chemotherapy. “I wake up in the middle of the night and I sit and listen to this pump going and know this pump is poison,” Andretti said.

The 54-year-old Andretti is in the fight of his life and has been for several months. He is battling cancer that started in his colon, spread to The decal will also be displayed at other races in Indiana and Kentucky this month with the #CheckIt4 Andretti message "Schedule Your Colonoscopy Today."

Ex-race driver John Andretti fighting colon cancer

  Ex-race driver John Andretti fighting colon cancer Former IndyCar and NASCAR driver John Andretti says he is undergoing chemotherapy for stage-four colon cancer that's spread to his liver.The 54-year-old Andretti tells WTHR-TV of Indianapolis (http://bit.ly/2pyOhe7 ) that doctors found the cancer in January and he has had surgery to remove part of his colon. Andretti has been receiving treatments at a hospital near his North Carolina home.

And when his driving career was winding down, Andretti still found a way to give something back to the fans and the sport. Now, the 54-year-old former racer is fighting for his life against stage four colon cancer that has spread to his liver. Their message was simple: Don't wait to get a colonoscopy.

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) John Andretti can't shake the sound from his head. The haunting sound of a machine pumping toxic chemicals into his system as part of chemotherapy.

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''I wake up in the middle of the night and I sit and listen to this pump going and know this pump is poison,'' Andretti said. ''I hear that pump right now. I hate that thing.''

The 54-year-old Andretti is in the fight of his life and has been for several months. He is battling cancer that started in his colon, spread to his liver and doctors believe to his spleen, too.

The former racer is back for his family's annual May reunion in the venue that has always felt like home - Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a place that provides Andretti with the boost he needs right now.

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John Andretti recently went public with his cancer battle in hopes of using his platform within the racing community to educate “When I do a physical, I do a full physical,” Andretti explained. One immediate example of how impactful Andretti ’s message is and how quickly people are taking action

Full Menu. This year, John Andretti , Mario Andretti 's nephew, is battling late-stage colon cancer that has spread to his liver. "He's been fighting his whole life," Jarett Andretti said. "He doesn't smoke, he doesn't drink, nothing.

''This place is life to an Andretti,'' he said. ''I get chills because this is the most special place on the planet for me, for my family. This gives me energy.''

Andretti started 49 consecutive IndyCar races from 1990-92 before moving to NASCAR, where he made 29 or more starts every year from 1994-2003. He was the first driver to attempt the Memorial Day double, racing first in the Indianapolis 500 and then NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600.

Andretti spoke Thursday during an announcement for his (hash)CheckIt4Andretti campaign encouraging those 50 or older to get a colonoscopy. Andretti hopes the message is heard by everyone, not just racing fans.

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Early detection is the same message that NHRA Pro Stock racer Jeg Coughlin Jr. and his family’s JEG’S Foundation have been preaching. Coughlin, who has met Andretti briefly when the open-wheel star attended drag races, said, “There are so many forms of cancer .

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A decal will be placed on every car in 101st running of the 500, the Coca-Cola 600 and the Freedom 100 races. The decal will also be displayed at other races in Indiana and Kentucky this month with the (hash)CheckIt4Andretti message ''Schedule Your Colonoscopy Today.''

''John is in a different race,'' Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Doug Boles said. ''And not unlike his spirit and his fight, he has figured out a way to be a superhero in this new fight and this new race that he's on.''

It's an important message that can save a life or at the very least, relieve some pain and financial burden. Had he gone through a colonoscopy at 50, Andretti said, he believes the cancer never would have progressed to this point. Throughout his career, Andretti received regular medical screenings - just not the one he's now pushing for.

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''I was always focused on my health,'' Andretti said. ''It wasn't a matter that I wasn't paying attention. ... The only thing I was missing was a colonoscopy.''

Andretti has nearly forced those closest to him to get one, including his cousin, Michael, who recently had his. Prior to Thursday's announcement, Andretti placed the first decal on one of his cousin's cars.

''It is perfectly aligned and straight,'' Andretti said. ''I was going to actually put it on crooked so it would drive my cousin nuts for the whole month.''

Most of Andretti's chemotherapy treatments have been in North Carolina, where he lives, and his sixth treatment will be in Indianapolis next week. In June, he will have surgery on his liver and spleen.

''People get embarrassed by talking about colonoscopies and they shouldn't be because it's just something that's natural,'' Andretti said. ''So it's something that's really close to me now and obviously important, and for everybody to do. It's way easier than doing (chemo), I can guarantee you that, because I did both.''


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