Diabetic Support Group hosts IndyCar driver



Charlie Kimball, the first licensed IndyCar driver with type one diabetes, appears during qualifying for the IZOD IndyCar Series Firestone 550 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas, on June 7, 2013. Photo used with permission of Tribune News Service.

Haley Thomas, News Editor

Charlie Kimball, the first licensed IndyCar driver with type one diabetes, spoke to the Diabetic Support group about how he races with diabetes.

What was great about it was that he went through his day to day life and the students could relate to him because they’re doing the same thing: they’re getting up in the morning and checking their blood sugar, they’re eating breakfast and getting their insulin,” nurse and group sponsor Ann O’Haver said. “He’s experiencing high blood sugar and low blood sugar just like the students.”

Diabetic Support Group hosts six to eight meetings during SMaRT period each year with guests such as Kimball.

“I think it was great that he talked about how he has embraced diabetes,” O’Haver said. “He has a ‘diabetic anniversary’ every year and celebrates the day he found out. He’s funny, he said he even got his friends to bring present, until they realized they didn’t need to.”

Other past speakers include representatives of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, who talked about safety tips such as checking your blood sugar before you drive, and the president of Ball State University, who talked about transitioning to college.

Last year, several students participated in a research study through Indiana University. The goal of the study was to develop an app for diabetic students to use to make the transition to college easier.

Each of the 18 students with diabetes is encouraged to attend the group, and one student from HSE drives over for meetings.