It didn’t take long for Curtis and Lauren Norton to recognize a competitive streak in their son.
“Brody turns everything into a race,” said Curtis. “It doesn’t matter if it’s getting dressed or whatever. He’ll turn it into a competition.”
When he was 2 years old, Brody’s grandfather put him on a lawn tractor and turned him loose. It was then and there the family knew he was going to be a wheel man.
At the age of 4 his parents gave him his first go-kart, and at age 5 he started racing. The young man from Albany has been racing year-round ever since — at outdoor tracks during the summer and indoor tracks during the winter. His exploits have taken him to races in Oregon, California and Idaho, winning three championships at three different tracks.
However, his fledgling career was nearly red flagged by injuries suffered off the track — not once, but twice — and that’s how the Norton family met Erin Campaigniac, MD, at Samaritan Medical Group Hand to Shoulder Orthopedics – Corvallis.
Dr. Campaigniac first saw Brody when he was 7 years old, after he took a spill and broke his thumb while learning how to ride a bicycle. He told her about his racing and he learned that she had also raced as a young girl, participating in “meatball derbies” in a downhill race car built by her grandfather.
Brody asked Dr. Campaigniac if he could still race with his broken thumb. After discussing various equipment and safety considerations with the family, she made a special adjustment to his cast so he could hold the steering wheel comfortably and continue racing without missing a lap.
“She’s really nice and she listened to me,” said Brody. “That was the best part.”
One year later, Brody and some friends were playing on a hammock. Brody was pushed out of the hammock and broke his left ring finger. After being seen at Samaritan Urgent Care Walk-In Clinic – North Albany, Brody was once again referred to Dr. Campaigniac.
“She recognized him right away,” Curtis recalled. “She said, ‘Hey, you’re that kid that races!’
”Dr. Campaigniac reviewed Brody’s X-rays with the family and determined that a cast would be the best option to allow Brody’s hand to heal without affecting its growth as he got older. Racing season was to begin in just a few weeks and Brody wasn’t shy about speaking up.
“You let me race last time, so I’m racing,” he insisted.
Knowing his determination, Dr. Campaigniac once again customized a treatment plan for her young patient. She put his hand in a cast for two weeks, then replaced it with a removable splint that Brody could take off only while racing.
The following weekend Brody was back on the track and won every one of his races.
At a follow-up appointment a few weeks later, Brody and his parents were happy to learn his hand was as good as new. To show his appreciation, Brody gave Dr. Campaigniac a signed hero card and an autographed photo from his big weekend.
“With injuries, there are always going to be limitations in work, play and sports,” explained Dr. Campaigniac.
“Brody’s sport is unique and it involves the whole family. We all wanted what was best for Brody, but we also had a keen eye on his timeline for competition. It was great to have everyone engaged in his treatment.”
Brody’s parents say that his experience has taught him that in order to cherish the good times you must also embrace the bad.
“Racing is a lot like life,” said his father, Curtis. “You will have setbacks, but as long as you keep working and keep moving forward, the sky’s the limit.”
“Racing is a lot like life. You will have setbacks, but as long as you keep working and keep moving forward, the sky’s the limit.
See more pictures of Brody and his family.