Triathlete Who Has Diabetes Will Speak At Genesis Event
Ironman Triathlete Jay Hewitt, who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 24, will talk about his experiences and successes as an accomplished athlete with diabetes on Dec. 6 at Genesis Medical Center, Davenport.
Hewitt will speak at 11 a.m. in Pavilion 2 conference center at Genesis Medical Center, West Central Park. The public is invited to attend the free event sponsored by the Genesis Regional Diabetes Care Center.
Hewitt is a member of the U.S. National Long Course Triathlon Team, a professional motivational speaker, and a practicing lawyer.
While in his first year of law school in 1992 at the University of South Carolina School of Law, Hewitt noticed he was losing weight and becoming weaker and weaker. He was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. He says he had no prior warning signs or history of the disease and believes that his diabetes was triggered by the stress of law school.
Hewitt was determined to not let diabetes control his life and strove to keep his blood sugar levels as normal as possible. He was also determined to not let diabetes prevent him from pursuing his athletic training.
In 2002, 10 years after his diagnosis, Hewitt competed in his first Ironman race. The Ironman is a grueling competition consisting of a 2.4-mile swim followed by a 112-mile bike ride and a 26.2-mile run. Since then, he has completed 14 more Ironmans and competed as a member of the U.S. National Long Course Triathlon Team at the 2004, 2005, and 2006 World Championships. Hewitt is the only person with Type 1 diabetes to compete with Team USA.
In 2006, Hewitt and seven of his teammates set a record in the Race Across America cycling event by finishing in 5 days, 16 hours, and 4 minutes. Hewitt says that he races to prove that diabetes can't stop him from achieving his goals.
In addition to being a triathlete, Hewitt is also a motivational speaker. He speaks around the world on achieving personal and business goals, overcoming obstacles, life balance, and health.
“I race to prove that diabetes cannot stop me from achieving my goals, and I am honored if I inspire others to overcome any obstacle to achieve their dreams,’’ Hewitt said. “The more we overcome, the greater the satisfaction and pride when we do.’’
He has been an active speaker for the American Diabetes Association. He also practices business litigation as a lawyer in South Carolina, where he lives with his wife and daughter.