Kimball Earns PNC Community Leader Award
Indianapolis, Oct. 28, 2010: When Charlie Kimball was first diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2007, he received an overwhelming amount of support from the diabetes community that encouraged him to continue his dreams of becoming a top-level racing driver.
Because of that support, Kimball became an active member of the diabetes community and now uses his racing celebrity as a platform to promote awareness of the disease and show "that diabetes doesn't have to slow you down."
For his efforts, Kimball was selected as the winner of the 2010 PNC Community Leader Award as the Firestone Indy Lights participant who best displays community service or community outreach.
"I'm thrilled to be selected as this year's winner," said Kimball, the driver of No. 26 Levemir FlexPen car for AFS Racing/Andretti Autosport who finished fourth in Firestone Indy Lights in 2010. "As a professional racing driver, the opportunity to reach out to the community and try to make a difference is something I feel strongly about embracing. I'd really like to thank PNC for sponsoring an award that recognizes what we do outside of the race car."
Over the course of the 2010 season, Kimball reached more than 20,000 people through appearances at diabetes expos, visits to hospitals and personal meetings with boys and girls and men and women who have diabetes.
At each appearance, Kimball talks to audiences about his own diabetes diagnosis and how important it is for these people and their families to not only understand more about diabetes, but also how they can continue to lead normal, productive lives.
"Knowing that there were other people out there that believed in me really gave me some encouragement to pursue my dream and continue my career," Kimball said. "As a result now, I feel very strongly in returning that favor. It reminds me that this is bigger than me. When I talk to the parent of a child who has just been diagnosed, I can look them in the eye and say 'It gets better. It gets easier. Look what I can do. There isn't anything your child can't do because of diabetes.'
"Hopefully in the future, I'll be able to continue to reach out make a difference either through my own story of racing with diabetes or as a professional athlete and being able to go out and brighten people's lives so people who can't go out an experience racing can go out and do so."