Along with learning how to live with diabetes, Kimball had to learn how to race with it.
"I wear a continuous glucose monitor, which is a sensor, which is worn on my body with a wire that is injected under my skin. It transfers the reading to a display that I put on my steering wheel. So when I’m racing, just like I check lap time, water pressure, oil temperature, speed, gear, I can also check blood glucose at the same time. That way I can double check the cars running right, and my body is running right as well."
In addition to that, Kimball also has a drink bottle mounted in the car, as most drivers do. He also has another bottle filled with a glucose-rich fluid like orange juice so he can take a sip should his sugar run low. When asked if he could give back diabetes, he doesn't pause for a second. "In a way, yes, absolutely. If it was possible, would I give it back, absolutely, but the cards that I’ve been dealt, the fact that I still have the chance to do what I love and make a difference, it’s a dream come true, it really is. I honestly think I’m a better athlete because of diabetes rather than despite it because I’m more conscientious about my nutrition, my physical training, my health, I just do a better job at managing my being than I ever have before."
In some ways, diabetes has been a blessing in disguise for Kimball. He's become a spokesperson for diabetes thanks to help from his sponsor Novo Nordisk, and has been able to push kids with diabetes to follow their dreams. "I have the opportunity to hopefully help people, inspire them, encourage them to not let diabetes slow them down and to chase their dreams and overcome and beat diabetes every day."
His plans for the future are simple. "Last year, I was the first licensed driver with diabetes to race in the Indy 500, I want to be the first driver with diabetes to win the Indy 500, and win the IZOD IndyCar championship." In pursuit of that dream, he hopes to inspire others to follow there's, even if they do just happen to have diabetes. Charlie Kimball will be racing in the IZOD IndyCar Series Race beginning March 25, 2012.