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IndyCar driver highlights Children’s Hospital’s Diabetes Fair

  • Written by Jeff Vorva

IndyCar racer Charlie Kimball won his firstPage-7-2-col-fairThere were plenty of people, booths and displays at the Advocate Children’s Hospital’s Diabetes Fair on Thursday. Photo by Jeff Vorva. race on that circuit on Aug. 4 when he won the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio.
He made a history with the victory. He became the first licensed driver with diabetes to win an IndyCar race.
Kimball is generous his time and getting his message out to the masses. A few weeks before starting up the 2015 with the Streets of St. Petersburg race on March 30, he was in Oak Lawn last Thursday as a special guest of the Advocate Children’s Hospital’s Pediatric Diabetes Fair. He signed autographs and gave a talk in the hospital’s auditorium.
According to a hospital release, diabetes is a chronic disease that already affects more than 200,000 children in the United States. Physicians at Advocate Children’s Page-7-2-col-racer-and-friendsRacer Charle Kimball and members of his staff were on hand during the fair talking to fans and handing out autographs. Photo by Jeff Vorva.Hospital anticipate that by 2020 the diabetes rate among children under age 5 in certain populations will be double what it was in 2000.
“We treat a variety of endocrinological disorders, including growth, puberal, and thyroid disorders, but, by and large, 50 percent of our pediatric population has diabetes, and 80 percent of this group are being treated for pediatric type 1 diabetes,” said Vidhya Viswanathan, MD, pediatric endocrinologist, at Advocate Children’s Hospital – Oak Lawn. “For type 1 diabetes patients, the pancreas doesn’t make any insulin; for these children, insulin is a lifesaving medication.”
Diabetes is characterized by high blood glucose (sugar) levels, resulting from defects in the body’s ability to produce or use insulin. The condition, if left untreated, can lead to other health complications, even death. However, once the disease is diagnosed, physicians specializing in pediatric endocrinology typically work with parents and children to develop a proper treatment plan.
The fair also offered free body-mass-index screenings; blood testing; the latest information on insulin pumps, blood glucose monitoring meters and diabetes camps, refreshments and giveaways.