Pattie Petty, wife of former NASCAR driver Kyle Petty, reveals she has Parkinson’s disease
KANSAS CITY — Pattie Petty, the wife of former NASCAR driver Kyle Petty, has revealed that she has Parkinson’s disease. It was confirmed through a new test at the University of Kansas Hospital.
Petty talked exclusively with FOX 4 medical reporter Meryl Lin McKean, and says Parkinson’s won’t stop her efforts to build a camp in Kansas City for kids with chronic illnesses.
Petty is the sunny personality beside husband Kyle, and behind Victory Junction, a camp for sick kids. Petty noticed mood changes in recent years, and she linked them to the death of their son, Adam, in a crash 11 years ago.
The Pettys are one of the biggest names in motorsports in the US, starting with Lee Petty, then Lee’s son Richard, then Richard’s son Kyle, and would have Kyle’s son Adam racing in NASCAR. Sadly, on June 7, 2000, Adam Petty suffered fatal head injuries while practicing for the NASCAR Nationwide Series (then the Busch Grand National Series) race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
In October that same year, the Pettys (with help from fellow philanthropist Paul Newman) started the Victory Junction Gang Camp, near Randleman, NC (the home town of the Pettys), a summer camp for terminally-ill and chronically-ill children, in Adam’s honor. The Pettys have been at the forefront of the camp since it opened in 2004.
Pattie was in Kansas City to search for a site for another VJGC-style camp near Kansas Speedway when she went in for tests for Parkinson’s. It’s pretty sad that people like Pattie Petty and Ivan Tkachenko have bad things happen to them despite their selflessness. Thankfully for Pattie, Parkinson’s can be managed and one can live a quality life with it (look at Michael J Fox), and Parkinson’s won’t stop the Pettys from continuing to honor Adam’s memory to help children.