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Van Gundy Family

The Van Gundy family experiencing a Hands On Adventure with the MetLife blimp.



Rodriguez family enjoying the beach at The Children's House By The Sea.


Team Payton at Port to Fort 2011

Family Stories

Brendino’s Pit Crew: Brendan Fick

February of 2011 is a month the Fick family will never forget. It was then that five-year-old Brendan was diagnosed with Wilms Tumor, a type of childhood kidney cancer. The family’s world was turned upside down by the diagnosis, but knew they had to face the illness head on by starting treatment.

Fick Family“His diagnosis rocked our world,” explained Bridget, Brendan’s mother; as any family would feel in the first moments of a child’s medical crisis. It was extremely hard at first having to handle the situation, but as the days moved on, Bridget and the family found comfort with Brendan’s progress. “He did beautifully and was so brave during the treatment,” Bridget said.

Luckily for Brendan, throughout his treatments he had the love and additional support from his older twin sisters, Riley and Mackenzie. The twins took on a new role in their household and acted as a second set of moms for Brendan. It was really hard on the girls at first; but going through it together made it easier for them to help keep their brother positive during this trying time. 

In the wake of his February diagnosis, their social worker at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center directed the family to The Believe In Tomorrow Children’s Foundation and its programs. Before long, Brendan’s Aunt Megan decided to form a team for Believe In Tomorrow’s 15th Annual Port To Fort 6k race. The team name needed to personify the boy they were going to run for, but it took a little bit to figure it out. With a stroke of genius Aunt Megan came up with “Brendino’s Pit Crew,” a hybrid of Brendan’s nickname from his buddies and his love of NASCAR racing.  The name really stuck and all the t-shirts were created with a mock-up of the NASCAR colors and checkered flags! What a bright and fun way to bring awareness to helping Believe In Tomorrow and the Fick family.

Brendino's Pit CrewBrendino’s Pit Crew grew rapidly in only a few short months. On race day, April 10, 2011, the team had grown to over 80 people, raising more than $4,000!  Brendan loved the turnout on race day, and of course the NASCAR theme. The icing on the cake of a great day was the checkered flags that everyone carried over the finish line. The amount of support and love given that day provided the Fick family hope for Brendan’s future and determination to beat this illness.

Although Brendan and his family have not been able to go on a respite yet due to his treatments, his sights are set on The Believe In Tomorrow House on Wisp Mountain. “He and his sisters are really getting into the snow tubing and winter sports,” explained Bridget, “but just spending time together as a family will be what I am looking forward to most.”

Brendan is now six months post treatment and his mother boasts that he is doing well! Brendino’s Pit Crew is signed up for another year of racing fun at the 16th Annual Port to Fort 6k race, and we cannot wait to see the turnout for this year.  Looks like the team is getting revved up for another good time!


Believe In Tomorrow™ Children's Foundation  •  6601 Frederick Road, Baltimore MD 21228  •  800-933-5470