Racing with Purpose: The Journey of Roman Darby
Photo Courtesy: Roman Darby

Racing with Purpose: The Journey of Roman Darby

By: Jason Gerber

The fear of losing your dream way before it has even started is a real pain. Roman saw that very early on in life when he developed a passion for racing, but the pursuit of it seemed impossible. Since then, the journey towards success has been a rocky one for Roman, and that is what humbled him in ways he never knew. As a young racer whose journey started as young as three years, Roman was not only humbled but also raced with purpose. His motto from the start has been to race with purpose – the purpose of giving back to society. 

Roman’s roots lie in Lone Tree, Colorado, where his passion for motorcycle racing took root. A pivotal moment came at the tender age of 3 when he witnessed the thrill of MotoGP at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. From that point on, he was determined to pursue a career as a professional motorcycle racer. However, this dream faced a setback when Roman was diagnosed with seizures just six months later, casting a shadow of uncertainty over his aspirations. 

For the following six years, Roman and his parents collaborated closely with the medical professionals at Nationwide Children’s Hospitals to find the optimal dosage of medication to help control his seizures. Throughout this period, the seizures significantly impacted his ability to keep up with schoolwork, and he felt reluctant to engage in certain activities due to the fear of experiencing a seizure. Racing was particularly challenging for him, and he worried that his dreams would never become a reality.

Despite facing such challenges at such a tender age, Roman never lost hope and always focused on ways to get better, so that one day he could pursue his dreams. During those six years, Roman knew that he might not be able to achieve his dreams, but what kept him going for all this time was hope, purpose, and a positive outlook on life. 

Five years later, after relocating to Ohio, Roman had been seizure-free for over a year and remembering his passion for racing, he asked if he could try racing again. His parents were more than happy to support his dreams and therefore they immediately started investigating opportunities to introduce Roman to racing in a structured and safe environment. Throughout the following year, Roman attended different MiniGP camps and training and hired a coach to help teach him the techniques and art of racing. 

After 6 years of battling seizures, Roman was finally declared seizure-free, giving him the confidence to pursue his passion for racing. His journey began with local state races, where he swiftly clinched two championships in his debut year. Encouraged by this success, Roman made the leap to the National series, fulfilling his long-held dream. Determined to inspire others, especially children facing similar challenges, Roman took on the role of a motivational figure. In his second year of racing, he organized a “Ride Aloha” Charity Race and raffle, with all proceeds dedicated to supporting the Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Looking ahead, Roman aspires to turn this into an enduring annual event, fostering continuous growth and fundraising to aid children in need. In addition to his philanthropic efforts, Roman has also taken on the role of a Patient Champion, leveraging his story to raise awareness and instill hope in others.

The journey of Roman serves as a powerful example of the significance of having a profound purpose driving one’s passions. Racing meant much more to Roman than just the excitement and competition; it was a means of conquering personal obstacles and making a positive impact on society. This deeper sense of purpose provided him with the strength to persevere through the most challenging times, such as dealing with seizures and facing academic difficulties. His purpose motivated him to establish the “Ride Aloha” Charity Race, transforming his personal victories into a source of hope for others. When your passion is intertwined with a meaningful cause, it not only propels you forward but also enriches your journey with a profound sense of fulfillment and influence. Roman’s narrative illustrates how purpose has the ability to transform adversity into opportunity and individual aspirations into communal benefits, inspiring others in the process.


Published By: Aize Perez

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