Diabetes doesn’t slow down racecar driver
By Mark Ambrogi
A fundraiser for Will’s Way was a natural fit for IndyCar driver Charlie Kimball
“I joke that it’s a cause that is close to my heart and my pancreas,” Kimball said.
Kimball, who has Type 1 diabetes, was signing autographs and talking to families at Diabetes Kids Day at The Urban Chalkboard on Sept. 12 in Carmel. The event raised $500 for Will’s Way, a nonprofit that provides grants for insulin pumps and other diabetic supplies for under-insured families in Indiana, Urban Chalkboard co-owner Jessica Beer said. Beer, a Carmel resident, co-owns the learning studio/play cafe with Tonya Bergeson-Dana.
“It’s great for somewhere local like Urban Chalkboard to support a local foundation and give back to the diabetes community,” Kimball said. “Being able to do what I love in racecars to me is a dream come true. At the same time, to have the chance to tell my story and hopefully inspire the next generation, if it’s a racing driver with diabetes, or baseball player or CEO or ballerina. As long as this next generation thinks it can because of what I do in a racecar, that’s extremely fulfilling.”
Kimball, 30, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 22, later than most are diagnosed with Type 1.
“I was fortunate in that I had already fallen in love with racing so I wasn’t going to let something like diabetes to get in the way of my dream of wanting to drive cars for a living,” Kimball said.
Kimball, who lives in downtown Indianapolis, is sponsored by Novo Nordisk, a global health care company that is a leader in diabetes care. Kimball uses the NovoLog FlexPens.
“I use their products every day to tell my story,” Kimball said. “And if you pardon the pun, they’ve given me the vehicle to tell my story.”
Beer has a good reason to support diabetes, as her 10-year-old son, Wyatt Griffith, has Type 1 diabetes.
“It’s great way to show the kids with Type 1 diabetes are just like everyone else,” Beer said. “They’re very active and smart.”