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 is currently advocating for a group health insurance plan for people with diabetes in the future.
Phil Southerland currently resides in Atlanta, GA. He actively maintains a blog, and is often featured in articles of various publications.Download Bio
Not Dead Yet
My Race Against Disease: From Diagnosis to Dominance
St. Martin's Griffin/Thomas Dunne Books
Part memoir, part sports adventure, Not Dead Yet tells the inspirational story of Phil Southerland's battle with Type 1 diabetes and how he overcame all odds to start his own bicycle racing team and twice win the Race Across America. Blindness, kidney failure and death were all predicted for Phil by age twenty-five. Today, not only is Phil alive and well but as the founder of Team Type 1, he and his team of championship cyclists—many of them diabetics—have become health and fitness role models for people the world over. Together, they have taken on some of the most challenging endurance events in the world. Leading the pack is a serious challenge for any athlete, but for Phil and his teammates, it presents two daily battles: one to stay in razor-sharp race-fit condition, the other, to stay alive.
Leading the Charge Phil describes his role as co-founder of Team Type 1 and how he managed to lead his team to two consecutive wins in the annual Race Across America events. He offers his insights on leadership, and how to achieve success even in the most unlikely circumstances.
“Phil’s warm heart comes through particularly strong when he introduces the reader to adults who entered his life and served as role models and supports to both he and his mother. Phil notes, it took a village to raise him… Phil is already a diabetes champion in many senses of the word!”
“Phil Southerland has guts…. Although he had the maturity and fortitude to realize that his health is his No. 1 priority early on in life, he has had to work very hard to get where he is. He continues to work hard to achieve his goals, no matter what gets in his way. We give this book two thumbs up! Or two legs pumping, as it were.”
"My favorite diabetes book I've read in a long time! For starters, Phil is beyond inspiring before you read the book. But within a few pages, any level of admiration and respect you feel for the guy goes several notches... This is a guy who is charming as he is humble (and humbling). But it's not just his personal story of diabetes and love of sports... It's how he leads Team Type 1 (and Team Type 2) into bigger and more ambitious goals to prove that life with diabetes is no reason for us to not catch our dreams."