Thunder Road driver reunites with kidney donor
After receiving some critical replacement parts, a Thunder Road driver was back at the Nation's Site of Excitement Thursday to check in.
Barre's Cameron Ouellette can't drive a regular car right now, let alone a stock car. Back in April, we told you about Ouellette's need for a kidney. Several weeks after our story aired, a donor was found and Cameron hit the jackpot.
At Thunder Road, working parts equals performance. No one knows that better than Tigers Division driver, Cameron Ouelette.
Ouellette Thursday returned to the track for the first time since receiving a new kidney about two weeks ago. "Nice to be back," he said.
Reporter Scott Fleishman: How are you feeling right now?
Cameron Ouellette: Right now I feel great. Better than I thought at this point... If I didn't have all of these staples in my gut, I wouldn't know anything was wrong with me.
He's reuniting with rivals as well as the one who made it all possible, Amanda Conger. The Swanton woman who played prep hockey at Rice and just finished up her junior year at St. Anselm College, stepped forward with a kidney match.
"Good to see you," Ouellette said.
"You too," replied Conger.
It's the first time the two have met since the transplant. "And It's definitely more rewarding seeing him here, healthy than seeing him in the hospital," Conger said.
Ouellette and Conger aren't strangers to one another. When she was an intern at Thunder Road last year, she worked in a both by the back gate, giving pit passes. "My brother -- who is a huge role model of mine -- he donated bone marrow two years ago. So, it was kind of always in the back of my mind, if I had the chance, I would definitely try," Conger said.
She decided to make her donation after hearing other drivers talk about Cameron.
Reporter Scott Fleishman: When you told Cameron, what was his reaction like?
Amanda Conger: I think we were all kind of in shock a little. I walked over and we kind of stared at each other, all of our families, for a little bit. Then, we obviously hugged and everything like that.
Reporter Scott Fleishman: Did you start to doubt?
Cameron Ouellette: I don't think we ever really doubted that we would find one. It was just a matter of when we would find one, I think.
A spare part making all the difference in this auto-bond. "We've definitely grown a lot closer since the kidney transplant. We talk very often, stay close, and I imagine we always will," Ouellette said.
"I know my family considers him part of the family and I'd say it goes both ways I'd say," Conger added.
Ouellette will be monitored by doctors closely for the next several months. He hopes to back racing again next season.