As a professional race car driver, I've faced my fair share of barriers and close calls. Whether it's competing in a high-stakes race or avoiding a high-speed crash, I'm able to overcome many challenges through hard work and determination. But no amount of hard work could have prepared me for my biggest challenge yet: being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes just as my racing career was taking off.
The first doctor I consulted thought my Type 1 diabetes (T1D) diagnosis would end my racing career, but I didn't give up. I found ways to cope with the disease. Every day, I battle to manage my blood sugar levels while competing. If my blood sugar rises too high, I can have blurry vision, fatigue, thirst, dizziness or confusion. If it falls too low, I can have headaches, trembling, and could go unconscious or have a seizure. Racing makes these risks even more dangerous since everything happens at a much higher speed. A few seconds of dizziness could mean the difference between crossing the finish line and crashing my car into the wall. To stay safe, I have to monitor my blood sugar levels at all times. By keeping a glucose monitor on my steering wheel and an insulin shot in the pit area, I've been able to stay ahead of my fiercest opponent, T1D.