Kimball sidelined due to diabetes
Charlie Kimball, due to compete in the penultimate round of the World Series by Renault at Estoril, Portugal this weekend, has been sidelined for medical reasons. Earlier this week, he was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and very high blood glucose levels. Without treatment, the blood chemistry would continue to rage out of control, leading to very serious complications. As a result, Kimball was strongly advised by doctors and diabetic specialists not to travel to Portugal, let alone compete in the race weekend.
“It has been an extreme shock. I went to the doctor with a skin rash, and came out with diabetes. The positive thing I have taken from this is that I was diagnosed before my blood chemistry reached very dangerous levels, and I have begun treatment to bring it under control and keep it under control. I have learned how to manage my insulin doses to replace what my body is no longer producing and how to monitor my blood sugar (glucose) levels so that I remain healthy.”
While the doctors have sidelined Kimball until his blood chemistry is back to normal levels, they have constantly reiterated that this condition will not affect his ability to compete at the highest levels of motorsport. Diabetics are able to lead long, healthy lives and accomplish extraordinary things. The doctors have used British Olympic gold medalist Steven Redgrave as an example that diabetes should not affect the 22-year-old in his quest to win the Formula 1 World Championship in the future. Redgrave, a type 1 diabetic, is the only rower in the history of the Olympic Games to win gold medals in five consecutive Olympics.
“Everyone I have talked to about diabetes has said that it won’t be long until I have control of this condition and will be healthy enough to return to the cockpit. I am working very intensively with the doctors and nurses who specialize in diabetes at the Oxford Center for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism (OCDEM) to learn what it will take for me to get this under control as quickly as possible.”
The biggest blow of being diagnosed with diabetes at the current time is that the last two rounds of the World Series by Renault are this weekend at Estoril, and next weekend at Barcelona. Being nearly 25% of the racing season, missing these two race weekends has been the most painful part of the last three days for Kimball.
The American expressed his feelings about missing the race weekend, “There aren’t words to express how disappointed I am not to be competing in these last two race weekends, for myself, as well as for everyone at Victory Engineering. They have done such a great job for me all year and I was really hoping to repay them with some good results.”
Team boss Trevor Carlin added, “Obviously we are very concerned about Charlie’s well being. His absence in Estoril is a blow to the team, but the most important thing here is Charlie’s health and his recuperation. The entire team wishes him a speedy recovery and look forward to seeing him behind the wheel of a racing car again soon.”
Once Kimball brings his blood glucose down to healthy levels, he will be able to return to the cockpit and competition. He is targeting the next two to three weeks to become healthy and get back into a race car.