Joe Gibbs on son: most courageous person I’ve been around

MARTINSVILLE, Va. (AP) Joe Gibbs says his son, J.D., is his hero and the most courageous person he’s been around.

Joe Gibbs Racing announced this week the younger Gibbs, who is the team president, is undergoing treatment for ”symptoms impacting areas of brain function.” Joe Gibbs says the family has known of the diagnosis for about six months and ”medically, there are very few answers.”

He says 46-year-old J.D. is pursuing treatment and may not be as visible with the team as a result.

”I have to tell you that he’s my hero,” Gibbs said during a statement at Martinsville Speedway.

He noted that J.D.’s son, Taylor, was diagnosed with leukemia at age 2. And while Taylor is doing great now, ”J.D. through his entire life has probably been the most courageous person that I’ve been around or knew.”

Doctors believe the symptoms are related to a head injury, but have not pointed to anything specific.

”Basically what the doctor’s say is that they really don’t know,” Gibbs said. ”J.D. has lived a very active lifestyle. All the things that he’s done in his life physically – he’s loved all sporting events and it’s everything from football to snowboarding, racing cars, racing motor bikes. He’s lived in a lot of ways for him, he loved all those things.

”We can’t point to any one serious thing that happened to him. Certainly any injury is a possibility that led us into some of the symptoms that he’s experiencing now.”

The team has previously said the symptoms began with ”speech and processing issues,” but Gibbs said his son will continue to work with the team on a day-to-day basis ”and be in all of our meetings and all of the key decisions that we make, J.D.’s going to have a huge impact on that.”

In the team’s management setup, Gibbs and his son share the same responsibilities, he said, so ”If I’m not there for a particular reason, J.D. will be there and if J.D. is not there for some reason, I’ll be there.”

JGR driver Carl Edwards said he spoke with J.D. this week at the race shop and ”it’s just business as usual. He’s working through everything and everybody is behind him 100 percent. He’s a really good person and a really tough guy. I’ve never heard him complain about anything. Hopefully he’ll just battle this the same way he would battle anything.”

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