NBA legend Ray Allen credits Abbot’s FreeStyle Libre 2 for helping to manage his son Walker’s diabetes. Diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at just 17-months-old, Walker and his family have been on a health journey for years.
“I didn’t have a clue as to what diabetes was all about. I didn’t know what it did to your body,” Allen told theGrio in an exclusive interview.
Now retired, Allen was an athlete at peek physical performance, as the NBA’s all-time three-point shooter and a two-time champion with the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat. However, with this new health challenge facing his family, he had to relearn everything that he thought he knew.
“It seemed like it was something that was stricken or has stricken people of an older age and obviously dealing with Walker, [he was] 17 months,” he said in his interview. “It gave us better guidelines for lack of a better word in how we live and how we eat.”
The NBA legend admitted that Walker’s condition brought his family closer. With the help of Abbot’s FreeStyle Libre 2, Allen and his family were better able to move forward with monitoring Walker’s condition.
“It just seemed like it give us some greater purpose and certainly now with the FreeStyle Libre 2, it’s allowed us to monitor for Walker diabetes a lot better than we initially first started.”
Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre 2 is a glucose monitoring system that has a sensor affixed to a person’s upper arm. A handheld reader takes a one-second scan. It’s available for children aged 4 and up, making it easier for them than repeated finger pricks.
“At first I used to have to prick my finger on these 15 times a day,” Walker, now 14, said in the interview as well. “Now with the freestyle 2, I get on time alert and training data. So, it helps me along.”
Walker is one of five children that Allen shares with wife, Shannon Allen. As a result of their health journey, the Walker’s opened their own restaurant, grown. The Miami-based, family-owned business features organic fast food delicacies such as fried chicken, candied yams, and greens.
“He’s the reason that we’re reinventing fast food as a family, Shannon told theGrio. “So, the real scary thing for us was how can we continue to contribute to the health and wellness of our community to keep our community healthy if we can’t be open.”
According to WebMD, diabetes is 60% more common in black Americans than in white Americans. Blacks are up to 2.5 times more likely to suffer a limb amputation and up to 5.6 times more likely to suffer kidney disease than other people with diabetes.