When you’re a top flight athlete driving a racing car for a living, sometimes it’s hard to relate to a youngster battling a terrible disease.
Like many NASCAR drivers and other athletes, Brian Vickers often visits hospitals and tries to use his celebrity to help raise the spirits of those suffering through a medical crisis.
After needing a pair of surgeries – one to repair a hole in his heart – to correct a condition causing blood clots that kept him away from racing for most of last year, he now has a different point of view, as he explains in his latest blog...
"Before all this took place, I’d try to give someone advice and speak to them from the heart about fighting and not giving up. But when you are talking to a young kid who's lying in a hospital bed, going through a tough time when you’ve never been there, there’s always a bit of internal guilt.
"Little kids want to see you and talk to you because they love racing and it is special for them, but what do you say to them in that moment when you haven’t been there?
"And honestly, I always felt a little bit of this internal guilt where I’d think to myself: ‘Who am I to tell this person anything or try to relate to them when I haven’t been through anything like it and I really can’t? So absolutely, I think it gives me more credibility with the people I am speaking to, whether they are kids or adults or anyone. I can say that I’ve been lying in a hospital bed not knowing what the future looks like with IVs in both arms.
"I think I definitely have credibility with them now, but also internally. It really does give me a different perspective on what they are going through."
- Look back on the highlights of 2010 in NASCAR
- Check out Brian Vickers on Facebook
- Visit the Red Bull Racing Team homepage