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Travis Kissinger Determined to Raise Money for Wheelchairs 4 Kids Through ‘Race for Disability Awareness’ Campaign

Photos by Steven Stout/Stout Images

Travis Kissinger, a sportsman racer who appeared on the 2022 Drag Illustrated 30 Under 30 List, is racing for more than just win lights this season. The Virginia native announced today he will focus on raising money for Wheelchairs 4 Kids through a “Race for Disability Awareness” campaign that features 10 races and three car shows. The cause is a meaningful one for Kissinger, who was born with a rare condition called Proteus Syndrome and was once told by doctors that he’d never walk due to his disability. 

“I’ve been very blessed in life, and I’d like to be a light for somebody else while I can,” Kissinger said. “This whole year is going to be dedicated to raising awareness and raising funds for children with physical and developmental disabilities.”

Proteus Syndrome affects how certain body parts grow. For Kissinger, that meant deformed and larger-than-normal feet. He hasn’t let his disability stop him, instead choosing to prove everyone wrong. Over the last few years, he’s accumulated numerous wins and two track championships in his ’99 Camaro. His background inspired him to get involved with Wheelchairs 4 Kids, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of children with physical disabilities by providing wheelchairs, home and vehicle modifications, as well as other assistive equipment at no charge to the families. 

“Doctors told my parents when I was born that I’d never walk,” Kissinger said. I’ve been blessed to be able to walk, but there’s so many children out there that just don’t have that luxury. I started reaching out to organizations, and Wheelchairs 4 Kids is the one that really lined up with what I believe in. Everything that I raise this year will go to Wheelchairs 4 Kids. If I can help one kid get a wheelchair to help them get around, I feel like I’ve done what I’m supposed to do.”

Kissinger will have plenty of opportunities to raise funds for Wheelchairs 4 Kids this year as he embarks on maybe his most ambitious schedule yet. 

“I’m going to be doing some 7.90 index racing and things like that,” said Kissinger, who previously raced in the Sportsman class. “It’s about one race per month, but I also have a lot of big car shows that I’m going to. If everything works out how I would like it to, I’m going to try to have the car at the PRI Show in December.”

Kissinger restated the significance of this initiative to him personally, while also encouraging others to get involved. He also credited partners like Mark Beatty of Red Line Oil for encouraging his mission. 

“I want to be there for other people,” he said. “We have all these talents and skills, and if we all work together, we can make things better for these children. Children are the future of everything. We’ve got to include them, especially if it’s children that don’t feel like they’re a part of anything. I felt like that in school. Other kids will make fun of you for anything if you don’t look the same or sound the same. Like I like to say, normal is overrated.”

Kissinger will accept donations on site at the events on his schedule. Donations are also accepted at

Learn more about Wheelchairs 4 Kids at

This story was originally published on April 8, 2024. Drag Illustrated

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