Multiple sclerosis diagnosis for Trevor Bayne

Soccer player Javier Artero. Baseball player Stan Belinda. Football player Dan Carnevale. Basketball player and coach Deanna Davis. Olympic skier Jimmy Heuga. Olympic gold medalist sprinter Betty Cuthbert. And the list goes on and on.

Aside from their amazing athletic achievements, all these athletes been diagnosed with the same disease: Multiple sclerosis.

Now, NASCAR driver Trevor Bayne joins the list. On November 12, 2013, the Roush Fenway Racing driver announced his diagnosis.

Multiple sclerosis is a disease where the immune system attacks the central nervous system. Although symptoms range in severity, MS can lead to paralysis in severe cases.

“It’s tragic that this has to happen to such an iconic celebrity, and I hope it doesn’t affect his career,” said early college junior Trey Woodlief.

In 2011 Trevor Bayne won the Daytona 500 at the age of 20. To this day, he remains the youngest driver ever to win the race.

“What’s crazy is that he’s only 22,” said early college senior Jordan Smith. “He’s so, so, so young and he only just got married this summer.

“To have this bombshell right after that … Even though his sister also has it, it’s completely unexpected.”

Numbness affected Bayne’s arm in the middle of a race at Texas Motor Speedway. Coupled with fatigue, nausea and blurred vision, for any athlete experiencing these symptoms this would be a recipe for disaster.

However, NASCAR does not have the same physical requirements most sports do, but that does not put Bayne out of danger if he continues to drive.

“He talked about double vision, and his double vision can get worse if he’s overheated,” said Dr. Harold Moses to ABC News. “These cars get very warm, and a lot of these drivers wear cooling suits. I think they’re going to be very careful about how he re-enters the sport.”

Bayne stated he has not experienced any symptoms since the Texas Motor Speedway incident.

“I’ve never been more driven to compete,” Bayne told USA Today. “My goals are the same as they’ve been since I started racing. I want to compete at the highest level and I want to win races and championships.

“I am in the best shape I’ve ever been in, and I feel good. I’m committed to continuing to take the best care of my body as possible.”

MS is unpredictable, though.

“MS can have a very variable course. So one person may have years where they’re not affected much at all, whereas someone else the same age presenting at the same time may have a course that’s very rocky,” ABC News’ chief health and medical editor Dr. Richard Besser told ABC news.

There are medications that can slow down the disease’s effects and progression, but Bayne has experienced no relapses and has decided to go without medication.

“I have a close family friend who has MS,” said early college senior Kristen Witkemper. “I wish we had more knowledge about it, because she goes through a lot. She goes to the hospital quite often and I think it really detracts from her ability to enjoy life.

“Hopefully Bayne’s MS doesn’t relapse. But hopefully this will promote awareness about MS and lead to more research. Hopefully, one day, we’ll have a cure.”