People to Know: Jay Hewitt
As far as successful athletes with diabetes go, there are not many who have accomplished more than triathlete Jay Hewitt. In 1991, when Jay was 24 and in the middle of his first year of law school, he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. He quickly made the decision not to let the disease control his life. In 2002, Jay completed his first Ironman race (a 2.4-mile swim followed by a 112-mile bike ride and then a 26.2-mile run). But he didn't stop there. He since has completed 14 more Ironman triathlons and was the only person with type 1 diabetes to race with Team USA in the 2004, 2005, and 2006 U.S. National Long Course Triathlon World Championships.
Not only is he an accomplished triathlete, but he also makes a huge impact on the diabetes world by sharing his story. Jay always says that diabetes is an opportunity, not an obstacle. He's really set an example for others with diabetes by proving that everyone can achieve their dreams—whether we're talking about an Ironman race or any other goal—with hard work and determination.
Jay and I are both fortunate to represent Novo Nordisk as professional athletes. As an IndyCar driver and the first person in the series to race with type 1 diabetes, I've really made a strong connection to Jay and his career. His determination and discipline to overcome both physical and mental hurdles inspire me to work harder each race weekend. Though we race on different courses, our motivation is the same: to win and prove that diabetes does not have to slow you down.
Charlie Kimball races in the IndyCar series with a continuous glucose monitor Velcroed to his steering wheel.