Stories of people overcoming health challenges to pursue a dream can warm our hearts like nothing else. Race car driver Charlie Kimball is an individual who can remind us that perseverance and a winning attitude can overcome all obstacles. Never one to quit, Kimball did not let type one diabetes stop him from racing to the finish line.
Kimball was born with racing in his blood. Raised in California, the England-born boy bonded with his dad as he worked on race cars as a mechanical engineer. It took some convincing, but after he experienced a two-day practice in a formula Ford, Kimball received his parents’ approval to begin racing as long as he maintained straight A’s throughout high school.
The eager child held his end of the bargain, telling Men’s Fitness that racing and motorsports had gotten into his blood and under his skin. At 18, Kimball deferred his entrance into Stanford University’s mechanical engineering program and began to race full-time. As a rookie in 2005, Kimball became the first American to win a British F3 race in 13 years.
In 2007, a frightening diagnosis put his racing career on hold. He was diagnosed with type one diabetes after inquiring with his physician about a rash on his arm. It was a big shock, as his family does not have a history of the disease, Kimball told USA Today.
Kimball spent the next six months regaining weight he had lost, learning the ins and outs of blood sugar testing, and understanding insulin management. Despite his concerns that he would never race again, he received encouragement from his physician and finished second in his first race back in 2008.
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Charlie Kimball didn’t let diabetes slow him down, and he has since competed in the Indy 500, and in 2015 he finished third place. He races with a glucose monitoring sensor and says that the diagnosis has been a blessing. Charlie Kimball now has the opportunity to inform others about the disease and encourage all of us to persevere.Whizzco