Phil Southerland was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was only seven months old. Doctors told his mother that he would probably lose his eyesight by the age of 20. Contrary to the doctors’ predictions, Phil is still reading, racing, and keeping his A1C under control through diet, exercise, and an insulin regimen.
Phil began competitive racing in 1994, at the age of 13. He met Joe Eldridge, a fellow passionate cyclist and competitor in college, and the two founded Team Type 1 in 2004. They wanted to prove to the world that people with Type 1 diabetes were capable of racing just as well as “normal” people. In 2006, Team Type 1 competed in the highly competitive and demanding Race Across America (RAAM), winning the first of two corporate team division titles. They did it again the following year, cycling over 3,000 miles in just over five days.
His career highlights include placing first in the Southeastern Conference Criterium Championships, 8th in the U.S. Junior National Criterium Championships, 9th in the Under 23 U.S. National Road Championships, and 12th in the U.S. Collegiate National Criterium Championships.
In 2008, Phil underwent iliac artery surgery to his left leg, cutting his season short. However, he still holds great aspirations for Team Type 1. He hopes to earn a spot for Team Type 1 in the Tour de France by 2012. He would also like to see a group health insurance plan for people with diabetes in the future.
Phil currently resides in Atlanta, GA. He actively maintains a blog, and is often featured in articles of various publications.
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