Teen Race Car Driver Raises Awareness for COPD

Cedar Rapids, Iowa resident races weekly at Hawkeye Downs Speedway

MIAMI & CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA (June 13, 2024) - Teen race car driver Maddox Rowley is using his weekly races at Hawkeye Downs Speedway in Cedar Rapids, Iowa to help others by raising awareness about chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

The 18-year-old from Cedar Rapids is only in his second year of racing, but he's already making a difference and raising awareness through his racing. Rowley sees the value of using his platform to bring attention to a cause that is personal to him.

"I've seen other drivers' cars wrapped for different organizations and nonprofits," Rowley said. "I knew that if I was going to advocate for something, I wanted it to be connected to me. A close family friend had COPD and later passed away. I had a memorial for him on my car for a while, and then I decided I wanted to take it one step further this year and make it bigger by putting the COPD Foundation logo on my car to help spread awareness."

COPD comprises several conditions, including chronic bronchitis and emphysema, and can be caused by genetics and irritants like smoke or pollution. The disease affects more than 30 million Americans and is the third leading cause of death worldwide, yet it is estimated roughly half of those with the disease remain undiagnosed.

Rowley credits the Iowa BIG program for introducing him to community involvement. The program, which is implemented in the Cedar Rapids and College Community School Districts, emphasizes engagement in projects to advance real-world and academic skills.

"My schooling taught us about going out and working with community partners, so I've been able to see how important that is and learn that there are organizations out there, like the COPD Foundation, that help raise awareness for causes like this," Rowley said. "I'm looking forward to continue to pursue racing and using my platform to spread the word."

Rowley races weekly on Fridays at Hawkeye Downs through August 16, 2024, except for July 5, and he will also race on Saturday, September 28. Races are open to the public.


About the COPD Foundation
The COPD Foundation is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help millions of people live longer and healthier lives by advancing research, advocacy, and awareness to stop COPD, bronchiectasis, and NTM lung disease. The Foundation does this through scientific research, education, advocacy, and awareness to prevent disease, slow progression, and find a cure. For more information, visit copdfoundation.org, or follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Brittany Irish