Darlington to honor mothers with story of courage

DARLINGTON, S.C. (WACH) - Darlington Raceway is continuing its annual tradition of honoring mothers at Saturday's Bojangles Southern 500 this Mother's Day weekend.

Mothers, including those of drivers, will say the traditional command to start engines for this weekend's race, but will also be joined by a special honorary mom, Stephanie Decker, who has a personal story of courage and perseverance.

Decker, a resident of Henryville, Ind., was injured shielding two of her children from a tornado that hit their home in March 2012. Decker lost the use of both of her legs and now uses prosthetics to walk.

"As a parent we would do anything to take away the pain and hurt from our children," said Decker. "Since this accident I have many times told people that if I can replace the bad memories of March 2, 2012, with good memories for them then that's exactly what I am going to do."

Decker's story has led to the creation of the Stephanie Decker Foundation, supporting prosthetics for children and access to cutting-edge prosthetics for all people.

Every year, the grand marshals for the race have been the moms of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers.

"This is a fun and unique opportunity each year for Darlington Raceway and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers to honor their moms on Mothers Day weekend," said Darlington Raceway President Chris Browning. "This weekend makes Darlington Raceway a special place to be for not only for the drivers, but for the fans that are attending the races and spending time with their moms as well."