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Dr. Bill's Commentaries

A Race Car Driver and a Retired Engineer Who Happen To Have Diabetes   (May 30, 2011)

Charlie Kimball and Bob Krause have been in the news recently. Until reading the news stories, I didn't know anything about either gentleman, but I now know a bit about each, and think that you too might be interested.

As usual for me, I watched part of the televised Indianapolis 500 auto race yesterday, and heard for the first time about Charlie. He's 26, has been racing since age 9, has had type 1 diabetes since 2007, and is the first driver in recent years to qualify to drive in the Indy 500 with T1DM (in the 1932 race, Howdy Wilcox II finished second). During one of the lulls in the race, we were shown how Charlie's crew would be able to give him insulin injections if needed, using an insulin pen and injecting through his flame-retardant clothing. They also mentioned that he started the race with a blood glucose of 200, and went up to 250 during the race -- which, according to the announcer, was exactly what they planned. Not mentioned during the TV show,  he was using a continuous glucose sensor.

Charlie finished 13th in his first Indy 500.

Bob Krause is a retired mechanical engineering professor who has been living with diabetes since 1926 -- that's 85 years. He's gone from the days of testing urine in a test tube, boiling reusable glass syringes and resharpening the needles, to using an insulin pump (since 1978!). Perhaps unsurprisingly for someone with an engineering background, he is described by his son as always having been "precise, measured and calculated."

Bob celebrated his 90th birthday with a party with his wife and family and friends.

I'd like to offer my congratulations to each of them.

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Dr. Bill Quick began writing at HealthCentral's diabetes website in November, 2006. These essays are reproduced at D-is-for-Diabetes with the permission of HealthCentral.

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