Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic disease thought to occur when the immune system attacks myelin, a protective substance that surrounds nerve fibers in
the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves, causing symptoms ranging from mild numbness in the limbs to paralysis and vision loss. About 85 percent of people
are initially diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS), a form characterized by flares of neurologic problems followed by periods of improvement or
even no symptoms (remissions. About 10 percent of newly diagnosed people have a form of the disease called primary-progressive MS (PPMS), which
causes slow, steady worsening of neurologic function without any remissions. Around 5 percent are diagnosed with progressive-relapsing MS (PRMS), and
experience a steady decline from the beginning, with periodic flares and no remissions. More than half of people with MS start out with RRMS, but eventually
their disease becomes progressive with no remissions, which is called secondary-progressive MS (SPMS).
First raced design by me, for
Leilani Munter in the ARCA Series
at Kansas Speedway 10-29-2010
First Sprint Cup Design for JJ Yeley,
VAMPT and Front Row Motorsports.
Phoenix 11-13-2011
Click to enlarge-->

Dream comes true as disabled veteran designs car

By Seth Livingstone, USA TODAY

November 12, 2011

AVONDALE, Ariz. – Although confined to a wheelchair and unable to use his arms, Marine veteran Scott Bates will be very much in Sunday's
Kobalt Tools 500.

His Veterans Day design, created with a head-controlled, reflection-operated mouse, rides with J.J. Yeley on Front Row Motorsports'
Vampt-sponsored No. 38 Ford Fusion.

In addition, Sunday will be proclaimed Scott Bates Day in the state of Arizona, honoring the inspiration of Bates, 48, who suffers from
multiple sclerosis.

"This is what I've always wanted to do — design a car for the Cup level," says Bates, who saw his paint scheme after competition for the
first time on Saturday when Yeley turned a lap at 128.98 mph in qualifying. "It's incredible. I can't believe it's happened."

Bates, from Muskogee, Okla., not only learned graphic design, he's learned to do it by operating a sensor attached to his computer which
reacts to his head movements. The system permits Bates to choose shapes, colors, shades and strokes.

"You have to have determination to get ahead in this crazy world," Yeley said. "Here's Scott, a normal guy who had no issues, served with
the Marines for a couple different stints, then ends up with M.S. in a wheelchair. Yet he still has the fight not to give up. It's a huge
inspiration to me."

Passionate about auto racing, Bates started by designing templates for video games and produced a paint scheme for an ARCA car that
wrecked in a practice run and never made it to race day.

"God took away one of my abilities to show me a new way," said Bates, who was joined at the track Saturday by wife, Kathy, daughter
Valerie her husband Tim and two of his six grandchildren. "I never would have taken the time to learn (graphic design) if I hadn't been
sitting in this chair and had to retrain myself to do something to occupy my time. I couldn't bear just sitting and watching TV or surfing the
Internet. I wanted to do something."

Vampt founder and chairman Ian Toews heard Bates' story and enlisted him to design his Veterans Day weekend car.

"Not only are we recognizing him for his military service, but the design itself is a patriotic one that pays tribute to all veterans," Toews
said. "We will all be very proud to stand beside it on Sunday."

Bates' design features and American flag and the message "Vampt Nation Salutes Our Nations' Veterans" on the deck lid.

"It's one thing to see the design on a computer or printed out, but in-person it resonates very well and shows up well on the track," Yeley
says. "My plan is to try to run as fast as I can, try not to put any scratches in it and make Scott proud on Sunday."
@DeptVetAffairs @DeptofDefense  The VA and the Department Of Defense must possess information that they're not sharing with the rest of us and
certainly not with the new enlistees. I know the Sergeant isn't telling new recruits that they should look out for MS, as they do with AIDS or syphilis. If there is
a chance that MS might be contracted or complicated by their time in military service, then why aren't enlistees told this? Would this complicate the
recruitment process? Probably, but I have the sneaking suspicion that it would complicate something far more important to the modern Armed Forces:
vaccinations. This is the one factor, aside from the traditional haircut, that all service folks have in common. If, as some believe, the causative agent is a
mycoplasma, vaccinations could conceivably be the mode of transmission.

What bothers me most is that I'm sure the VA and the DOD have research that justifies granting this disability to thousands of veterans. If they have
information that connects MS to military service, then we should all know what that information is. Multiple Sclerosis is a serious and growing disorder that
afflicts millions of persons. To purposefully withhold information that would better our understanding of this disease is unjustified. This must have something
to do with why the V.A. Doctor lied about me. He knows im telling the truth, he did what he was told to do. Its sad, I did my part in the Corps...Honorably.
I am 55 years young and catastrophically disabled by multiple sclerosis~secondary-progressive MS
that finally put me in a wheel chair in 2005. My MS started in the mid-80s while I was a Marine with
the 2nd and 3rd Battalion, 5th
Marines. I was a 60mm Mortar man in 2/5 and a 50-caliber machine
gunner in 3/5, but because so little was and still is known about MS, I was misdiagnosed
with everything from depression to being called crazy.

After the Marine Corps, I became an auto tech at a Chevrolet dealership in Norman, Oklahoma,
which is where I was raised. My condition became so bad that after 10 years, I could no longer walk
without falling down and suffered from extreme fatigue.  I now live in Muskogee, Oklahoma.  I use a
hands-free mouse that I control with a reflective dot on the end of my
Clean Cig electronic cigarette
to do my design work, and Io use my computer because I can no longer use my hands. I have been
designing cars for about 13 years now along with logos, etc.  I really love doing this work because it
is one of the only things I can do by myself without any assistance from anyone.

Thank you to my wife Kathy and daughter Val for keeping me going!

Played bass in a country band and I'm also an avid
Oklahoma Sooner fan and have been one since
1965. I have been lucky to have been asked to design for
Becca Gladden, Beads of Courage,  Wally
Cahill, Leilani Munter, Ricky Lee, Mike Corrado, Raisin Junior, Toni Lynn Starr,  Armed Forces
J.J. Yeley  Racing4Vets, Hounds&Heroes, American Veterans Racing, Custom Carts and
Bobby Dale Earnhardt, the oldest grandson of 7 time Sprint Cup / Winston Cup Champion
Dale Earnhardt.
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Any help would be appreciated.
“Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the
Marines don't have that problem.”
Ronald Reagan