CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Determined to learn exactly what caused his mystery illness in 2011, Trevor Bayne made repeated visits to the Mayo Clinic over the past two years, asking questions about his health and medical history.
The youngest winner in Daytona 500 history wasnt sick and he wasnt suffering from any of the symptoms – nausea, fatigue, double vision and numbness in his arm – that had sidelined Bayne for five races in 2011.
He just wanted an answer.
Bayne finally got it in June when doctors confirmed that Bayne, 22, has multiple sclerosis, a diagnosis he revealed publicly Tuesday.
I think MS takes time to diagnose and, as a doctor, you dont want to jump right in and give a diagnosis to somebody, Bayne said.
I think a smart doctor is going to continue to do things. Obviously, its a different kind of condition than something where you can just see it immediately, so over time they just evaluate you and the doctors just run a bunch of different tests.
Bayne, who was 20 when he won the Daytona 500, will compete as scheduled at Homestead-Miami Speedway this weekend in the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series finales.
He will also run a full Nationwide schedule next season for Roush Fenway Racing and a partial Cup schedule for the Wood Brothers.
Baynes younger sister, Sarah, also has MS, but he said the disease wasnt something doctors were looking for in 2011.
MS is not a hereditary or family kind of condition, so its something that is an individual basis, he said. They dont connect them at all because its not a family kind of thing.
MS is a potentially disabling disease in which the immune system attacks the central nervous system, which includes the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves. There is no cure, but treatment can help manage symptoms and reduce the progress of the disease.
MS is not technically hereditary, but having a relative such as a parent or sibling with MS can increase an individuals risk of developing the disease.