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Sporting What Matters Most

The Davis Family Restoring Classic Cars and Making Memories

Aaron Davis and his family are a resilient inspiration in discovering what it means to live life fully and sporting what truly matters most. We wanted to share a little bit about their story in hopes that they inspire you to keep your dreams alive for not only yourself, but your family as well.

You like to restore classic cars, how did you get started in this and what do you love about it?

Growing up, my father was always into classic muscle cars, and I guess I just followed his passion for classic cars. Even as a teenager when all my friends were out getting into trouble, I was busy in the garage with my dad learning how to fix and eventually restore them. 

I love the challenge and the feeling of bringing a car back from the dead. I love the feeling of restoring a car back to its original glory and showing it off. Tracking down rare hard-to-find parts or fixing and fabricating parts that don't exist anymore is always a huge challenge but with a great pay off when I see the finished product.

Do you have any car shows you're looking forward to this year?

Typically we try to do one out-of-state car show a year as well as local shows and events,  but this year the shows I would usually compete in are just too far away for the family to make the trip. We will see what the summer brings, and we are actually working with my son's high school to put together a local car show to benefit their Unified Program in the late summer early fall.

But your true dedication is with your family, could you introduce them and share a little about them?

The love of my life is my amazing wife Erin (yes, we are Aaron and Erin). I'm the person I am today because of her love and support. Erin is a Certified Nursing Assistant for our amazing son Graham, as well as a jazzercise instructor and office manager for a local landscape company. Erin is an incredible mother to our son and her determination and fierceness to fight for what our son needs on a daily basis never ceases to impress me. 

Our son Graham was born with an incredibly rare genetic condition called L1-Syndrome. It's a genetic mutation of the L1CAM gene, and as part of it, he has a multitude of challenges and diagnoses like epilepsy, hydrocephalus and muscle spasticity. As you can imagine that comes with a lot of equipment and appointments to help manage these conditions as he grows. While he may not be able to speak verbally, he is the most expressive kid, his sense of humor and sweetness is unmatched for those that take the time to really see it. For all the medical procedures and things he's had to deal with in his 15 years, he could absolutely be a grumpy, angry, upset guy, but that just isn't him. He is so tough and resilient and funny and smarter than people give him credit for.

What is a favorite family memory you have?

 Any memories that involve being with my wife and son are my favorite. But seeing Graham light up at being in the garage with me, or at car shows and race events we attend is truly special. He is a car kid through and through, handling cross-country road trips just to sit at a race track, or in a parking lot checking out old cars like his dad. 

You talk about resilience, how does Graham inspire and encourage you?

Kids in general are adaptive to change, but special needs kids are resilient to a body and brain that doesn't always work the way they want it to. Graham in particular has to constantly adapt and overcome daily physical challenges along with the everyday challenges of being a teenager. Every day he has to work to be understood by others - mom and dad included! No matter what, his attitude is still loving, caring and affectionate towards others. He has taught us immense patience with ourselves. So much of our life is uncertain or unknown, and Graham has taught us to really zero in on the important things and people in life.

How would you encourage dads with special needs kids when things get hard? 

You have to take it one day at a time! There will be good days and bad days for sure, and sometimes there will be more bad days than good. You have to focus on the good, or the bad will drag you under.  Find something you enjoy doing that doesn't take you away from the family. In my case, working on classic cars in my own garage is my way to de-stress. You have to find ways to keep your sanity, and staying busy with a project always helps.

  • Erin, Aaron and Graham Davis
  • Aaron Davis Sporting His 1969 American Motors AMX in Big Bad Orange