FULTON, NY – (By Dave Medler) – We always hear the saying, “Tough As Nails,” when describing some people.
In the racing world that saying could have a picture of Steve Hulsizer right next to it.
When it comes to racing Hulsizer has been through it all, from the rough and tumble Street Stock wars at Central New York tracks, to being upside down at the Syracuse mile and victory lane from those Street Stocks to Big Block Modifieds.
No matter what racing threw at him, he always got back up to race another day. Now Hulsizer is in the biggest battle of his life. Steve Hulsizer was diagnosed this spring with stage-four colon cancer and anyone who knows Steve, knows he is going to battle this as hard as he battled any driver he raced on the dirt tracks.
While the doctors at Sloan-Kettering, a world famous cancer Center in New York City do their best for Steve, the racing world is stepping up to plate. From a driving standpoint, fellow racer and longtime friend, Modified driver Joe August is putting together a car for Steve to race as long as he wants and is able to.
August, a good friend of Hulszier’s for over a decade said it was just something he wanted to do to hopefully help get Hulsizers mind off things if only just for a little while behind the wheel of a modified. “I had a car for him at the beginning of the year, but he just wasn’t feeling good enough then to race it. With the treatments he has been getting lately, his pain has gone down enough where he feels he can get in the car.” If Hulsizer feels good enough, look for him to be behind the wheel at the Brewerton Speedway as soon as this Friday night, August 9.
As mentioned above, all most people have seen over the years is the Steve Hulsizer at the race track and the life a few hours after the car was parked on the trailer having a few beers bench racing. After talking to people who know him best on a daily basis there is not enough room here to tell all the stories, so here is one example from Julie Schneider-August, Joe’s wife.
“He has spent mostly every holiday with my family since as far back as I can remember. He’s always been a great father to his boys and as far as friends go, he’s second to none. Anytime I’ve ever needed anything he’s been right there at my door, literally, fixing something, helping us with anything… all around an awesome guy. He’d do anything for anyone.”
Julie August also related just a few weeks ago when Central New York was getting torrential rains with flooding, her family’s basement sump pump stopped working. She called her dad for help knowing Steve wasn’t feeling good. When her dad arrived there was Steve right with him even though he was in pain he was going to help out as they stood in knee deep cold water getting the job done.
When you approach Steve Hulsizer about what he’s going through, you walk up to him kind of hesitant on what to say and not to say. Within seconds here is the man fighting cancer putting your mind at ease as he shares what he’s going through and how grateful he is for the racing community.
We first talked about how it all came about with Joe August putting the modified together for him to race. “I have no idea how this all happened, he just decided he wanted to see me race at the end of this year. I have been feeling pretty good, the pain has been going away. I think I can do it.”
Right now Hulsizer said he’s going through chemotherapy every two weeks and that has helped lessen his pain. “For some reason the chemotherapy doesn’t bother me. I feel good but also know it’s something they can’t cure. We’re just going to get it slowed down as much as we can.” He’s been going down to Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center since May. It’s to the point now where he can get treatments right here in the Syracuse area. He also related how fortunate he is to have a boss, Bob Schneider who lets him do what he needs to do and work when he can.
A fundraiser will be taking place for Steve on September 8 at the Bridgeport Rod & Gun Club from 1 until 6 p.m.
Below will be more information on how you can purchase tickets or donate.
When it comes to all the support he has received right down to the fundraiser, Hulsizer says he is a little overwhelmed with it all.
“The racing community is a different breed from almost anywhere else you will go. It doesn’t matter if you raced against someone and you didn’t get along, everyone still bands together when something like this is going on. As far as the fundraiser goes, I have zero to do with it. It’s all my sister (Liz Halliday) and Johnny Hill (fellow racer) plus Bob and Chris Schneider, they’re taking care of the whole thing.
“I’ve settled down quite a bit and now spend a lot of time with my kids. I go to work, come home, take my kids (Kyle & Chris) racing.” His son Chris Hulsizer is a rapidly improving Sportsman driver. “Something like this comes about, it really does change your outlook on everything.”
“It really takes the wind out of your sails when you first hear the news. It’s a little bit tough to deal with. I try to carry on and do exactly what I did before. I keep active, keep working, I don’t drink anymore, I eat healthier and try to get on the right page.”
With some emotion in his voice, Hulsizer finished up by saying, “I really appreciate all the support beyond words. The messages I get on Facebook and other ways is pretty overwhelming on how many people are paying attention to what’s going on with me.”
He also related, sure there is no cure for what he has, but he doesn’t want anyone to feel sorry for him or be afraid to approach him. He just wants to be treated like he always has been, father, friend and racer.
Anyone who would like to make a donation or buy tickets may mail it to:
30 Milo Drive
West Monroe, NY 13167
They will have this benefit to help Steve with his upcoming medical expenses and daily expenses now that he will not be able to work much or possibly at all.
They will have a chicken dinner served, 50/50’s and raffles to help raise funds.
It will be held September 8 from 1 to 6 p.m. at the Bridgeport Rod and Gun Club, which is located at the corners or Eastwood Road and Bull Road in Cicero, NY.
Easiest GPS Address to use is 7400 Bull St. Bridgeport, NY
Tickets will be $15 Pre-sale and $20 at the door
(Children 12 and Under Free)
For any information on how to donate or to help please feel free to contact
Liz Halliday @ (315)391-4293
John Hill @ (315)657-5469