NASCAR racer Trevor Bayne has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) but Bayne won’t let that stop him. His symptoms were first mistaken for Lyme disease. After experiencing symptoms of numbness, nausea, and fatigue, Bayne was diagnosed at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
At this time, 22-year-old Bayne is not taking medication or time off from his racing career. The MS diagnosis has not deterred Bayne. If anything, it has steeled his determination to continue carrying on with his career.
Bayne held a NASCAR conference today, discussing his MS diagnosis and why Bayne made his illness public:
You might ask why come out now and talk about it if there are no symptoms or anything like that. And Mark mentioned in the previous one that you guys obviously couldn’t hear, the in-person interview, and I talked about this. We didn’t ask to make this announcement or anything like that. I was under no obligation once I was cleared by NASCAR or the doctors to do that. But my part in announcing this is the fact that we have a huge community of fans and followers around our series and with our platform, they can’t relate too much to somebody who is winning races and winning championships and everything looks like it’s going great. I’m 22 years old. Fortunately, we’ve had a team around us that won a Daytona 500, I just got married. But we always talk about all these great things, and they don’t get to see the struggles that we go through. So for me, that is really the biggest reason I wanted to bring this out.
MS is a chronic, autoimmune disease that attacks the central nervous system. Bayne’s sister also has MS which made Bayne more susceptible to acquiring the disease though it doesn’t necessarily mean this is why Bayne acquired MS. Although the disease is not fatal, severe MS symptoms can shorten the lifespan. Although there is no cure, modern medicine and physical therapy can help MS patients like Bayne manage their symptoms and slow the progression of the disease.
As the disease progresses, an MS patients can expect to experience fatigue, poor balance, muscle weakness and, in some cases, partial or full paralysis.
For Bayne, his doctors are allowing him to continue his racing career. Bayne will compete in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) Championship in 2014.
Earlier today, Bayne tweeted, “So thankful for this day and for everyones [sic] encouragement! James 1:2-4.”
If you are newly diagnosed with MS, like Bayne, it is important to obtain all the important facts you can about the disease. According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, these are important things to know:
- What MS is
- Possible causes of MS
- Who is susceptible to acquiring the disease
- Possible symptoms of MS
- How MS diagnoses are made
- How MS is treated
Twitter Talks Trevor Bayne
@kaitlynvincie: Prayers to @Tbayne21. Glad he can continue living the dream & doing what he loves. #nascar
@TonyShephard_: @AngelaN48 I think Trevor Bayne will be OK sounds like his family his team and sponsors are fully supporting him
@Bedgood15:If you’re looking for a role model for your child, look at @TBayne21. Dude has been through a lot and is still incredibly positive. #NASCAR
@live2laugh8love: My heart breaks for Trevor Bayne. By the age of 30, his racing career will probably be over.
By Juana Poareo