NASCAR Team Owner Joe Gibbs and BrightSky, a leading supplier of diabetes testing supplies and prescription medications, have launched the "Defy Diabetes" movement to engage people with diabetes or at risk for diabetes in regular, sustained activities to improve their lives and to reward healthy choices.
As part of launch activities, Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) team member Darrell Wallace Jr. drove the No. 54 DefyDiabetes.com Toyota Tundra in the NextEra Energy Resources 250, at Daytona International Speedway.
Through social media and local, grassroots activities, Defy Diabetes will seek to build partnerships to support persons with diabetes (PWDs) and those at risk through a wide variety of programs and actions. These include encouraging better menu options at popular restaurants to mobile apps that help users take control of their condition. Information and tools are already available at DefyDiabetes.com.
"This is something I'm very passionate about, and I know personally how important and needed it is," said Gibbs, a former pro football coach who was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes more than 20 years ago. "My career in football and racing would have been impossible without the ability and support to manage my diabetes. I'm grateful to BrightSky for its commitment to help make the Defy Diabetes movement possible."
As part of the Defy Diabetes campaign, Coach Gibbs is joining physicians and educators to develop a series of inspirational "Coach's Corner" videos to inform and motivate others to Defy Diabetes.
More than 26 million Americans have Type 2 diabetes, and studies show that by 2020 more than half of all Americans could be at risk for developing the disease.
"We are honored to work with Coach Gibbs, Darrell Wallace Jr., and the entire Joe Gibbs Racing team in the Defy Diabetes movement," said Tim Hargarten, chairman and CEO of Sanare LLC. "BrightSky is committed to raising awareness about the staggering growth rate of diabetes while providing free tools and resources to empower people to defy the effects of this terrible disease."
Darrell Wallace Jr. appeared in his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Daytona International Speedway.
"I'm grateful to BrightSky and Joe Gibbs Racing for giving me the opportunity to make my Daytona debut driving the No. 54 DefyDiabetes.com Toyota Tundra," said Wallace. "It's awesome to be a part of such an important mission to help and support those fighting diabetes, which affects so many people and especially the African-American community."
Nearly 20 percent of all African Americans over the age of 20 have diabetes, almost twice the rate of non-Hispanic Caucasians. Darrell plans to send messages about the truck and the Defy Diabetes movement through his own social media channels.