This weekend, Charlie Kimball, an open-wheel race car driver with Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing in the Verizon INDYCAR® Series will race at the Indianapolis 500™. Kimball, driver of the No. 83 Chevrolet, is the first and only licensed driver with diabetes in the history of INDYCAR® to win a race at the most elite level of the Series. He also is the first driver with diabetes to qualify for, compete at, and lead laps at the Indianapolis 500™. In 2015, he posted his best career finish at the 500-mile race, capturing third place in the 99th running of the event.
Kimball, who began racing go-karts at age nine, deferred admission to Stanford University’s engineering program to pursue his dream of racing. In 2007, he was abruptly forced to abandon his racing program midseason, when he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes during a routine physician’s visit. At that time, Charlie was not sure how it would affect his racing.
Determined to get back behind the wheel, Kimball worked with his doctor and team to initiate a diabetes treatment plan that included some creative precautionary tools to help him manage his condition while driving. Six months later, Charlie was behind the wheel again, claiming a podium finish in his first race back after his diagnosis.
Off the track, Kimball is committed to raising the awareness of people living with diabetes and is a popular speaker on the topic. In 2012, he received the prestigious Jefferson Award for Public Service, considered the Nobel Prize for community service in the United States. That same year he also received INDYCAR®’s Tony Renna Rising Star Award.
This July, we will welcome Charlie Kimball to Canada for the Honda Indy Toronto, and for that race he will be driving a Diabetes Canada and Novo Nordisk car. Let’s cheer for Charlie this weekend. Please use the hashtag, #CANcheers4Charlie.
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