Lance Bergstein was five years old when he and his parents found out that he was a Type 1 diabetic. Before being diagnosed, he remembers being extraordinarily thirsty.
He had to learn how to manage his diet, use an insulin pump and monitor his blood sugar levels.
“I didn’t feel different from my classmates,” Lance says. “I just wanted to get on with living. I don’t let diabetes interfere with my life. My personality is rambunctious – I like action and being on the move.”
Twenty-three years later Lance is 28 and this New York City real estate investor is also an amateur race car driver. Competing in car races across the U.S. and in Europe, Lance often races to raise funds for JDRF, the Manhattan-based nonprofit organization that funds Type 1 diabetes research.
Using a Continuous Glucose Monitor in his race cars for the past nine years, Lance attaches the device to the dashboard or attaches it to the steering wheel with Velcro.
“That way I can easily keep an eye on my blood sugar levels throughout the race,” Lance explains. “Recently my Apple watch is allowing me to see what my blood sugar levels are. This comes in handy when I’m doing a 24-hour race with teammates and I have to get out of the car and someone else hops in.”
These days Lance keeps his A1C under 7 so his Type 1 is well maintained.
On his off time? “Spending time with my girlfriend and my dog is key,” Lance notes. “She and I enjoy going to live musical events in New York City – and to the opera.”
About race car driving? “To me the ultimate challenge is racing cars,” Lance says. “The speed is exhilarating and being the engineer of my fate is important to me. I can be in control and push the car to the maximum limit. Handling that speed and those situations takes a certain personality. Not everyone relishes the thrill of racing cars but I do.
“I tell people to go after their passion no matter what it is. Type 1 doesn’t have to interfere with people pursuing their dreams.”