Special Coverage of the National Truck Driving Championships

Former NTDC 5-Axle Tanker Champ Has Heart Transplant

GoFundMe Campaign for Brian Singelais Surpasses $20,000 in Donations
Brian Singelais (right)
The trucking community has rallied behind Brian Singelais (right), shown emceeing last year's New England Truck Driving Championships. (Eugene Mulero/Transport Topics)

[Stay on top of transportation news: Get TTNews in your inbox.]

Earlier this year, former National Truck Driving Championships standout Brian Singelais had a failing heart and needed a transplant. A few weeks ago, the family acknowledged their prayers were answered after their patriarch underwent a successful heart transplant.

They credit this positive turn of events to resilience, the miracle of science and the overwhelming love and support from the New England and NTDC trucking community.

WEEK-BY-WEEK TDC SCHEDULE: Dates and locations for 2024

Currently on the road to recovery, the 2015 national champion in the 5-axle tanker division is contending with long therapy sessions at a medical facility in New England. The recovery process is expected to continue for several months.

Sarah Singelais, Brian’s wife, recently spoke to Transport Topics about the ongoing recovery. She emphasized her husband’s deep gratitude for the support from New England commercial trucking colleagues and beyond. Over the years, Singelais became a fixture at precision driving events in the New England area.

NTDC 2024

2024 National Truck Driving Championships

Who: Winners from nine categories at the state level who have advanced to the national competition, where a Grand Champion will be crowned

What: Contestants are judged on a written exam, pre-trip inspection and driving skills

When: Aug. 21-24

Where: Indianapolis

“He said to say: ‘Thank you to everybody,’ ” Sarah said during the interview. “I don’t think he can express right now how grateful he is for all the support that we have.

“Every time we talk about it, it brings tears to his eyes. You know, knowing that that many people are behind us.”

National Champion Brian Singelais needs a heart!” — the GoFundMe campaign the Singelais family launched — has surpassed $20,000 in donations. The public still can contribute to the campaign for which funds will be used for medical expenses.

“Knowing that we have that many people behind us, and knowing that I can turn to somebody and say, ‘Hey, I’m having this kind of problem.’ It kind of feels like a big comfy blanket,” Sarah responded when asked about the online fundraiser. “That no matter what we do, we have somebody there that is going to help us.”

She continued, “Knowing that many people are sharing and know his story, and just when they pass it on Facebook, it’s, you know, they not only just pass the page, but there are people that are writing, ‘Hey, this is my buddy and can you help?’

“And you know – it doesn’t matter — emotional, financial, just keep him in your thoughts and prayers. Just that little bit, I think it means more to me than the financial.”

During Brian Singelais’ recovery, Sarah explained the NTDC community’s feedback is a constant source of inspiration.

“They’re not just people he competes against; they’re friends and family that we now have and we keep in touch with outside of competition like all year long,” she said.

Bran Singelais

Brian Singelais won Massachusetts' truck driving championship in 2018 and took top honors in the 5-axle tanker division at nationals in 2015. (Sarah Singelias via Facebook)

Singelais won the 5-axle tanker division at 2015’s “Super Bowl of Safety” while representing A. Duie Pyle. In 2018, Singelais took top honors at Massachusetts’ truck driving championships. Reflecting on competing at nationals in 2018, driving with Frito-Lay at the time, Brian pointed to humility.

“I don’t think I’m all that,” he said. “Or, I don’t do the conceited thing. I try to stay humble, is what I’m saying.”

The 53-year-old third-generation trucker from Webster, Mass., has accrued more than three decades of experience.

This year’s National Truck Driving Championships and National Step Van Driving Championships are scheduled for Aug. 21-24 in Indianapolis.

Want more news? Listen to today's daily briefing below or go here for more info: