Sadie Floyd grew up in a racing family, which races a series of dragsters, roadsters and door cars in the Pacific Northwest. Sadie was first introduced to the sport of drag racing when she was 10 and her father purchased a ‘48 Anglia and raced it in the Pro class at Woodburn Dragstrip in Oregon. She served as crew chief for her dad that year until she was exposed to the NHRA Junior Drag Racing League. The following year, Sadie got behind the wheel of a junior dragster and was officially hooked.
Photo by Gary Himes
Growing up in a mechanic’s house hold she had always been exposed to the life of cars and even had a go-kart at the age of six that resembled a ‘32 Ford roadster that she drove around at car shows throughout the Northwest. Getting behind the wheel of a racecar seemed to be the natural next step for Sadie and served as a transition step in her life. At the age of 11, not only did Sadie become a racecar driver but also she hit her 5-year mark of being officially cancer free.
Sadie was diagnosed with Acute lymphoblasticleukemia (A.L.L) when she was two-years old. The symptoms started out with severe fevers and puzzled doctors unable to find out what really was wrong. After a week, her symptoms minimized until she woke up one morning with the side of her face completely swollen. Rushing her to the hospital, an immediate blood test was ordered. The blood work showed that she had no red blood cells and would have to have a blood transfusion within the hour or she wouldn’t make it through the night.
The following morning, Sadie had a bone marrow procedure to diagnose the specific leukemia she needed treatment for. The next four years were spent in and out of Emanuel Children’s Hospital in Portland, Ore. In that four-year span, Sadie had over 15 blood transfusions, several experimental procedures, and four years of chemotherapy. Losing her hair twice from the chemotherapy, her hair always grew back with the vibrant red that is now the essence of her sassy personality, or ‘red hair flair’ as some call it. By the age of six, Sadie was allowed to be at home full time and was on her way to being cancer free.
Photo by Paul Grant: 330images.net
Now, 16 years later, Sadie still resides in the Portland area, pursuing a degree in marketing at Portland State University. At the age of 22, she has the fight of any man twice her size. Competing in classes such as Pro, Top Dragster, Super Pro and Super Comp, Sadie has many victories under her belt from the last decade she has been behind the wheel.
Photo by Paul Grant: 330images.net
Away from the track, Sadie plans to use her racing career as an outlet to get the word about blood cancers and children’s cancer to the forefront of the racing community. She has a keen interest in supporting others who are facing the disease and also has been in alliance with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society for the last couple of years. Making appearances with her racecars at their Light the Night Walk, sharing her story and giving hope to other families in similar situations is precisely Sadie’s mission. Continuing her racing career in the years to come, she wishes to pair up with many other cancer related programs on her path to become a professional racecar driver.
Although the walls in the Floyd’s “Hot Rod Garage” are covered in plaques and trophies, Sadie would agree that the biggest victory she will ever experience is her victory of beating leukemia.