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This former NASCAR driver shares details on his debilitating diagnosis AP Photo/Dave Parker
IndyCar driver John Andretti is shown after they qualified for the Indianapolis 500 auto racing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Saturday, May 21, 2011. (AP Photo/Dave Parker)

The racing community is still trying to wrap their heads around the heartbreaking news that racecar driver John Andretti is battling Stage 4 colon cancer.

But, John has no time to wonder why he has been dealt that card, as he is now in a race to fight for his life.

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Despite his diagnosis, John, 54, is both strong and optimistic. “We’re in it to win it, but, this is one race I can’t lose,” he tells WTHR Indianapolis reporter Dave Calabro.

Dave – a longtime friend of John – has been following the former NASCAR and IndyCar driver’s story. He learned that his buddy – also nephew to racing legend Mario Andretti – was first diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer in January. John had surgery to remove 12-14 inches of his colon, but the cancer spread to his liver.

“Now I’m a Stage 4A. There is only a stage 4B from my understanding, so I’m not really excited about that,” John explained, “But the good news is that we are still on the side that has a good chance of being cured.”

John hangs on to hope, as he doesn’t want to leave his wife and three kids. However, he and wife Nancy are both grateful to have been blessed with the goodness that God has given them.

“We’ve lived a really good life,” Nancy, whose been going with her husband to his chemotherapy treatments at a hospital in North Carolina, said, “We’ve been blessed. We’ve been afforded a really nice life. Our children are happy and safe. I think we’ve had it pretty good. So, I don’t ever say, ‘why us?’”

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In June, John will have surgery to remove the cancerous portion of his liver. But first, he will walk his daughter, Olivia, down the aisle on her wedding day.

Our hearts continue to go out to John and his family at this time. Keep up with Rare Country for more updates following John’s brave fight.

Nashville-based writer and Rare Country contributor Melinda Lorge has always been passionate about country music. Follow her @MelindaLorge and join the conversation @RareCountry.
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