Throughout his long NASCAR career, Bobby Labonte was known for his ability to stay on track and his reluctance to talk about it. Or many other things, for that matter.
But the Hall of Famer recently opened up about a very personal and life-threatening situation: kidney cancer.
Image Credit : Gretty
In an interview on the NASCAR Race Hub show, Labonte, 58, detailed the health scare that began in 2019,
When declining health led to a visit to the doctor, leading to to the discovery of a small spot on the kidney.
""when I checkup to one of the local doctor and doctor said, 'there is a little spot on my kidney.. We really have to keep an eye on that,” Labonte said.
They had their eye on it, and two years later its size had tripled. The tumor was surgically removed last October
And a few weeks later, Labonte said, he received a phone call with good or bad news from the surgeon.
"He said, 'We have everything, everything looks great. He said, 'But that's cancer.' And he said, 'It's very aggressive.'
Labonte said he was moved by many emotions, especially when he learned that a third of his patients with kidney cancer did not survive.
He's lucky enough to catch up and go public - despite his longstanding preference for keeping things indoors - to hopefully help others take early action on health issues.
"I'm not usually a 'sharer' and you probably don't know much about me," he said.. "But it didn't take me long to figure out if we could help one person, just one person, man. ..
There are many cancers that can be treated with certainty and this is it. is one that if you catch it early, as we did, we're lucky to have it taken care of."
Labonte drove full-time in NASCAR's Cup Series from 1993 to 2013. Labonte won the Championship of 2000 Cup Series & finished his career with 21 wins.
Before winning the Cup, he won the 1991 Busch Series championship, now known as the Xfinity Series.........
He returned to racing recently, competing in modified cars last year & this summer took part in the TV Superstar racing experience,