“It doesn’t make me who I am. It doesn’t control me. I want to go out there and win races. I want people to see that you can have tough things in your life and still go on. You can stay positive and keep pushing on and rely on God for strength. I’m not going to let this scare me or hold me on a chokehold. You can’t live life when you’re scared.”
In July, Trevor Bayne was diagnosed with MS disease, which affects the body’s nerves system. As the year came to a close, Bayne revealed the diagnosis to the world.
“I just didn’t want to leave everybody in the dark,” Bayne said. It’s not something I was told I had to do or anything like that, but it’s just a decision we made as a group to let everybody know. There’s not really any reason why we shouldn’t let everybody know.”
Bayne added that he used the time to talk with his partners – team and sponsor – as well as family and friends, allowing himself time to wrap his arms around it. With that in the books, he felt now was the best time to reveal it to the world. He explained that he wanted to tell his story to inspire others out there that may be going through tough moments of their own, whether with MS or something else that is difficult.
“For me, going through something hard – why hide something that’s kind of hard that shows our true character when we’re gonna show all the great things? So as a Believer, as a Christian, for me, this is part of my testimony I wanted to be able to talk about,” Bayne explained. “When I go to places and speak and I tell people about my faith, it’s not that I trust Him because everything is going great. I trust Him through everything, whether it’s good, whether it’s not so good, whether it’s hard, whether it’s inspiring, whether it’s difficult. So for me this is something else. This is just another piece of my story and another part of my life that I deal with and I feel like I’m a pretty open book and I never wanted to feel like I had anything to hide or ever had anything where somebody talked to me about it – I had to sit in the corner and try to push the question a different way.
‘It’s something that I just feel like is important to me in my life and obviously Ashton is very supportive of me and my family is and our team, so why not share this with everybody? Hopefully, they can be inspired by it and know that you can lead a completely normal and successful life with things that don’t seem like you could.”
The diagnosis came about as a result of the events of 2011. In 2011, Bayne missed a couple of races due to issues pertaining with his elbow. He was bit by a bug and a rash developed on his elbow. It was thought to originally be Lyme’s Disease.
“There could have been local Lyme’s on my elbow and that’s why at the time we were like, ‘That’s what it is,’ and it was an easy thing because I did have the rash on my arm from a bug bite,” Bayne commented. “I don’t know if the two are connected.”
However they weren’t 100% sure that was the cause and Bayne wanted to know for sure the cause.
“I wasn’t satisfied with not knowing, so as a competitive person and as a racer you guys know how we work,” he said. “We want to know how everything works and causes and effects, so I just kept going back for checkups and this is what it has led to.”
To this date, Bayne hasn’t had to deal with the symptoms of MS, but obviously they could arise in the future down the road.
“My hope is not to ever have symptoms again,” Bayne said. “Obviously, there are people who have gone with completely normal lives with MS and I hope to be one of those people. Nobody knows exactly what the future holds for anybody, but, for me, I trust that whatever God has planned for me is what’s best for my life. I’d love to be healed. That would be perfect if that’s what He plans for, but, if not, then we’ll move on day by day with it and at this point I have no symptoms and feel completely fine to drive.”
For the time being, the young driver is focused on winning races and doing what he needs to do in that department rather than worrying. Bayne will have AdvoCare on the side of his No. 6 Mustang all year next season in the Nationwide Series.
“We’ll have a full-time deal with them, which is really exciting for me, and to have a company with you all the time – not having to wonder which crew shirt and firesuit you’re taking to the race track is gonna be good for our guys – and there aren’t many of those in this sport, so we’re excited bout AdvoCare,” Bayne expressed. “We started with a relationship and developed into a partnership, so we’ve got that going on.”
He will also be running a part-time schedule once again for the Wood Brothers with Motorcraft on board.
Last season didn’t go as planned as Bayne failed only won one race, finishing just outside the top five in points. However, with that said, progress was made throughout the year to make the No. 6 Mustang stronger in hopes for a better 2014.
“What’s impacted our season the most is how competitive the Nationwide Series is this year and how tough some of the competitors are,” Bayne said. “I feel like we’ve got to step up our game a little bit and get our cars a little better. This was my first year back full-time, and now we’re hoping that next year we can get our cars better all the way around on the competitive side at Roush Fenway Racing. I don’t think it’s the season any of us would have hoped for, but we’ve had some bright lights also with a win at Iowa.”
Though as he continues the process outside of the racecar, he says he’s thankful for what he is has and is going through, as it makes him appreciative of the process.
“I’m actually thankful to be going through this because it makes me appreciative for the days that you have, for things that you go through, for a race team that supports me, for sponsors that support me,” Bayne said. “Obviously, when I first started talking to Roush Fenway, Wood Brothers, my sponsors, our partners about these things, of course you’re gonna be a little nervous – what are the impressions and things like that – but they’ve been so supportive and that’s been unbelievable. Without going through something like this, you don’t understand what it means to be unconditionally supportive and when you go through it and you see sponsors and teams like this that have your back all the time, that believe in you and know that you can still get the job done, that’s been awesome for me to see and I’m so appreciative for that. I think it’s built this team even stronger and that’s the best part of it.”