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Designing for the Race of Life

Nolan “Scott” Bates -- Muskogee County, Oklahoma

 Nolan Scott Bates looking at camera

I am 48 years old and catastrophically disabled by multiple sclerosis (secondary-progressive MS). Since 2005, I am using a wheelchair the majority of the time. My MS started in the mid-1980s 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 went back to Norman, OK where I was raised and became an auto tech at a Chevrolet dealership. 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, OK.

I have been designing cars for about five years now along with other types of logos. I really love doing this work because it is one of the only things I can do by myself without any assistance from anyone. I can sit at my desk and function pretty well. I use a hands-free mouse that I control with my head movements to do my design work. I use my computer for all of the designing because I can no longer use my hands.

I can still stand, but I have no balance and cannot take steps. Without the help of my wonderful family to assist me to do other things like moving from my chair to the bed, I would be lost. Kathy, Val and Tim, I love you and would be lost without you.

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, Wally Cahill, Leilani Munter, Ricky Lee, Mike Corrado, Raisin Junior, Toni Lynn Starr, Armed Forces Racing, J.J. Yeley, and Bobby Dale Earnhardt, the oldest grandson of 7-time Sprint Cup/Winston Cup Champion Dale Earnhardt.