Oklahoma Moment: Muskogee Man Refuses To Let Limits Control His Determination

Thursday, November 17th 2011, 5:15 pm
By: News On 6

Scott Bates loves NASCAR and always wanted to design a paint scheme for one of its cars.

His design hit the raceway on Sunday, but it's how this veteran was able to do it that makes this a true Oklahoma moment.

Scott Bates is a man with big dreams but a body that's slowly failing. He suffers from secondary progressive Multiple Sclerosis.

"It just makes the brain signals from my brain not make it to my legs or my hands to do what I want them to do," Bates said.

Bates can't move his arms or hands and he can't walk. But those limits don't control his determination; it's something he learned while serving in the Marines.

"I think the Marine Corps taught me how to have drive," he said.

That drive turned into a hobby doing graphic design. But you might wonder how does he navigate his computer without the use of his hands?

The answer lies with a little dot on his hat and a sensor on his monitor. He moves his head and the signal acts like a normal computer mouse giving him a sense of freedom.

"But once I got it, it was like I got my life back. It was amazing," he said.

So Bates began designing logo's for friends, and through Twitter, met someone associated with NASCAR driver J.J. Yeley.

The next thing he knew, Bates had designed the paint scheme for Yeley's number 38 Vampt race car that ran this past weekend in Arizona.

"They let me do what I want with very little changes and it really turned out good," Bates said.

So good in fact, Vampt flew Bates to Phoenix where he met Yeley and even spoke to the raceday crowd.

"Very overwhelming," Bates said. "Just to see what I had designed sitting in front of me on a race car was just mind boggling to me,"

Bates hopes when others see him they don't think of limits or barriers but of courage and conviction.

"Just not to quit. If you lay down you're done, you're done. I think God has plans for everybody and you got to just keep fighting to find that plan," Bates said.

The Vampt Racing Team has already talked to Scott about designing a paint scheme for their car in a race next spring.

See Scott Bate's Design