Langford man, 70, takes up racecar driving after battling cancer
LANGFORD -- David is walking around the race-track he started frequenting when he was 15 years old.
“It was rough and it was raw,” the now 70-year-old says. “To a teenager, that had real appeal.”
David spent every weekend at the Western Speedway. But he never yearned to drive the cars (“Are you kidding me?! Are you out of your mind!?”). Instead, David was there to learn how to build them.
“Some kids like taking apart cuckoo clocks,” he smiles. “I guess I just like racecars.”
David got so good at it, his Langford-built cars started winning on the U.S. NASCAR circuit, which led to the creation of a successful marine suspensions company, Shockwave Seats.
“My hobby became my profession,” he says.
David was in the pole position of life until his breaks were slammed by stage-four prostate cancer.
“It ended up with me being told I was going to have to be in palliative care — that’s all they could do for me — and to make other plans,” he recalls.
So David pursued a controversial treatment in the U.S. It caused the cancer to retreat and his perspective on life to change.
“You get a real appreciation for the gift you have every day,” he smiles.
In the five years since his diagnosis, David says he’s become kinder – and more courageous.
He’s returned to the Western Speedway, this time in the driver's seat.
“Stock cars themselves are the most visceral, meanest, bad-ass thing on the planet,” David says.
And he couldn’t be happier to be behind the wheel, embarking on a new career – competing in races like the Canada 200 – against some of North America’s top drivers.
“It gives me a reason to get up in the morning,” he says.
David’s journey is also the focus of a new documentary film called “Before I’m Gone.”
It's directed by Victoria’s Cody Graham, produced by the local M1 Films, and scheduled to premiere in September to raise awareness about Prostate Cancer Month.
Instead of slowing down, David seems to view his age like a speedometer — the higher it rises, the faster he goes.
“Live life, never say never,” David says. “And never quit before a miracle's going to happen!”