Skip to Content

Indy Lights Racer Charlie Kimball Will Not Let Diabetes Slow Him Down

Race car driver exemplifies how to manage chronic illness and end up a winner 

TORONTO, July 11 /CNW/ - Charlie Kimball, the 24-year-old race car driver from Long Beach, California, who drives in the Firestone Indy Lights(TM) competed in today's race in Toronto. What is remarkable is the adversity Charlie has faced already in his professional career. In 2007, Kimball was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, forcing him to abandon his racing program mid-season. The following year Kimball returned and is now a successful, young driver forging a career in the highly competitive world of open wheel racing.

"When I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes two years ago, I knew I could not allow the disease to get in the way of my dream to be a professional race car driver," said Kimball. "This year, my goal is to win the Firestone Indy Lights(TM) Series. With proper management, I have learned that diabetes does not have to be a roadblock to my success. I have worked with my doctor to develop the best plan that suits my career and lifestyle, so I don't have to worry about my diabetes. I can just concentrate on racing instead."

Kimball, who is the only American open-wheeled racing driver to talk publicly about his diabetes, has a history of breaking the mold. He had a podium finish in the Formula 3 Euro series in his first race after he was diagnosed with the disease in 2007.

Through his partnership with Novo Nordisk, a global healthcare company dedicated to diabetes care, Kimball hopes to raise awareness of the importance of properly managing blood glucose levels and to demonstrate that diabetes can be successfully integrated into your life and your ambitions.

"Because everyone has different lifestyles and needs, anyone living with diabetes should seek the advice of a doctor or other qualified healthcare professional. This will help you to customize a maintenance plan that fits with your life and allows you to achieve your goals."

Charlie has committed to working closely with his doctor to develop the ideal maintenance plan which consists of a combination of fast-acting and long-acting insulins in a pre-filled injection pen. He also checks his blood sugar regularly and keeps orange juice in his car for easy access, in case his sugar levels are low during a race.

"Charlie is a role model for anyone who feels inhibited by diabetes because he worked with his doctor to develop the best plan for managing his diabetes given his demanding career," said Dr. Alice Cheng, Endocrinologist, St. Michael's Hospital and the Credit Valley Hospital. "Physicians and patients can work together to determine the most effective and manageable course of treatment so that patients can still thrive in their chosen lifestyle. Charlie proves that with today's simple and effective treatment options, diabetes can be managed even under the most challenging circumstances and schedules."

Novo Nordisk is a proud sponsor of Charlie Kimball. For more information about diabetes care, visit

About Diabetes 

In Canada, approximately 2.4 million people have diabetes(1), a condition in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin, the hormone needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life.  Poorly or untreated diabetes can lead to a long list of health complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, high blood pressure, blindness, nerve problems and amputations. 

About Charlie Kimball 

Kimball, who began racing go-karts at age 9, was accepted into Stanford University and chose to bypass admission to follow his dream to become a racecar driver. Prior to his diabetes diagnosis in 2007, Kimball shattered the European stereotype that "Americans are not fast" by becoming the first American in 11 years to win a British Formula 3 race. He went on to secure two track records and several F3 victories in both Britain and Europe. Kimball has also raced in the Formula 3 Euroseries and the World Series by Renault. This year, Kimball will be competing in the Firestone Indy Lights races throughout the year. He will be competing in the Firestone Indy Lights race in his hometown of Long Beach, Calif. on April 19, 2009 followed by: 

-  Kansas Speedway: Apr 26

-  Indianapolis Motor Speedway: May 22

-  The Milwaukee Mile: May 31

-  Iowa Speedway: June 20

-  Watkins Glen International: July 4

-  Streets of Toronto: July 11

-  Edmonton City Centre Airport: July 26

-  Kentucky Speedway: August 1

-  Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course: August 9

-  Infineon Raceway: August 23

-  Chicagoland Speedway: August 29

-  Homestead-Miami Speedway: October 9 

For additional information about Charlie Kimball, visit

Follow Charlie on Twitter at, on his blog,, on YouTube, at, and via the Charlie Kimball Fan Club on Facebook. 

About Novo Nordisk 

Novo Nordisk is a healthcare company and a world leader in diabetes care and biopharmaceuticals. Novo Nordisk manufactures and markets pharmaceutical products and services that make a significant difference to patients, the medical profession and society. Novo Nordisk's business is driven by the Triple Bottom Line: a commitment to economic success, environmental soundness, and social responsibility to employees and customers. In Canada, the company is among the Top 75 Employers in the Greater Toronto Area. For more information, visit



(1) Canadian Diabetes Association.


Accessed June 24, 2009.    -30-  /For further information: or to request an interview with Charlie Kimball, please contact: Tanya Wymer, Novo Nordisk Canada, (905) 629-6241,; Jacqueline Zonneville, NATIONAL Public Relations, (416) 848-1398,

Posted: July 2009