Though Brian Vickers once again is beset by blood clots, one of his main backers related to the condition is giving him its undivided support.
According to a report by ESPN.com, Janssen Pharmaceuticals will stick by him, no matter what.
“We always knew Brian was at a higher risk,” Michael Moye, the director of marketing for Janssen, told ESPN. “He’s got great doctors. He’s always going to work with his doctors on the best treatment option for him.
“But he’s just such an inspirational guy. ‘Never give up’ is his motto. An opportunity to work with someone like that, who has come back from these things, is working close [with doctors] and very aware of his medical conditions — we’re committed to this guy.”
Vickers was diagnosed with blood clots Thursday, the third time he’s suffered the malady since 2010.
It occurred while he was headed to Auto Club Speedway, which coincidentally marked one of the biggest race weekends of the year for Janssen.
The company is sponsoring the No. 55 Toyota normally driven by Vickers in Sunday’s Auto Club 400 (Brett Moffitt will replace Vickers behind the wheel) and also sponsored Saturday’s Drive4Clots.com 300 Xfinity Series race as part of Blood Clot Awareness Month.
The return to racing is uncertain for Vickers, who is in the final year of his contract. After missing this season’s first two races recovering from offseason surgery to repair a defective patch in his heart, Vickers returned the past two races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Phoenix International Raceway.
Vickers took Janssen’s Xarelto blood thinning product until 2013, but he can’t take it if he’s racing because, as ESPN.com’s Bob Pockrass wrote, “the chance of bleeding out in an accident.”
Still, the company will stand behind him.
“Because he is such a great ambassador for the sport, for people who are at risk for clots, we are very excited to be working with him and will continue to work with him,” Moye said. “If he does race or if he doesn’t race, we are going to partner with him again.
“He is such a great person to get the word out, to tell the stories. There’s risk factors. There’s signs of symptoms. There’s treatment options. There’s a lot of people out there at risk. He’s a great guy to get that word out. … His future, as they line that up, we’re going to be with him either way.”