Ray Allen and wife Shannon form a unique partnership with Hublot in the fight against Diabetes.
Heat star Ray Allen and wife Shannon are working with watchmaker Hublot as part of their efforts to raise funds for diabetes research. below: Limited-edition Classic Fusion Ray Allen watch, Hublot.
When Miami Heat star Ray Allen and his wife, Shannon, discovered their son Walker was diabetic at the age of 17 months, it was a shock neither was ready for. Since then, the couple has vowed to find a cure. The duo has partnered with Hublot to raise awareness and funds, and with the recent Ray Allen Golf Classic, took in more than $500K for the fight against diabetes.
When you first found out that Walker was diabetic, what went through your mind?
Ray Allen: I was in the NBA Finals in 2008, and we didn’t know anything about diabetes, and I remember I had to look it up. I felt so sorry for him because it’s like, Why him? He’s so small and so full of life. I was trying to figure out what this is going to mean to how we live our life. Then I said, “We’re going to make it work. If I need to quit basketball, that’s what’s going to happen because we need to make sure we keep him alive.”
Walker is 6 now. What’s his routine? Does he prick his finger? Shannon Allen: We prick his finger about 10 times a day. He can do it on his own and sometimes he will. Ray and I check his blood sugar every two hours at night. That’s the scariest thing for parents with kids with Type 1 diabetes, because sometimes they don’t wake up. You can have an extreme low [blood sugar] in the middle of the night, the kids go into a diabetic coma, and that’s it.
How quickly did you become involved with diabetes research? RA: Immediately. When the news broke that Walker had diabetes, we were on TV talking about it. SA: We were living in Boston, and we got involved with the Joslin Diabetes Center [there]. Ray is still on the board of trustees, and I got involved with the New England chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), and I sit on its international board of directors. Ray and Walker went to Congress last summer and spoke for special diabetes funding. RA: Shannon and I have always talked about doing something in Miami, and the [Ray Allen Golf Tournament] seemed like the perfect fit. Shannon’s been doing everything she can to create awareness and raise money with the [Ray of Hope Luncheon]. So while the golfers are out playing golf, there’s a ladies luncheon at the same time. All proceeds go to the JDRF and the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation.