FreeStyle Libre 2 Puts NBA Legend Ray Allen at Ease

Hall of Famer's son manages diabetes with Abbott's continuous glucose monitor. It helps his parents know he's OK.

FreeStyle Libre 2 Puts NBA Legend Ray Allen at Ease
Diabetes Care | Jan. 26, 2021

It's 2008 and Ray Allen — the basketball Hall of Famer born in California; citizen of the world thanks to his dad's Air Force deployments before settling in South Carolina for high school; the highly sought prep recruit who chose new-blood Connecticut over blue-blood Kentucky; the top five NBA draft pick by Minnesota before a draft-day trade sent him to Milwaukee; the established NBA All-Star and gold medal winner for the United States at the Sydney Olympics; that Ray Allen — was in Los Angeles with his entire family for Game 5 of his first NBA Finals, his Celtics leading the Lakers 3 games to 1 in the best-of-7 title series, the very pinnacle of his sport and his life's work just 48 minutes away if they could clinch just one more win.

And all he could think was this: "This championship is so irrelevant."

His middle son Walker, just 17-months-old then, was in the hospital. The youngster hadn't been himself for a week, his mom Shannon said. The doctors found the why: Walker's blood sugar — where normal ranges from 70 to 120 — was 639.

"He has type 1 diabetes," doctors told Shannon. "And he's entered a phase of diabetes called ketoacidosis, which means his blood sugar is essentially poisoning him to death. And if he doesn’t get insulin soon, you're going to lose him."

"It was literally the scariest sentence that anyone had ever said to me," Shannon said.

The NBA Finals? Irrelevant.


Walker's diagnosis would lead them all down a new road, one which has included his parents helping him learn to manage his glucose and still be a kid doing the things kids do.

"Life with diabetes is hard. Living is hard. Meals are hard. Taking an exam is hard," Shannon said.

"We try to take that burden away from him as much as we can," Ray said.

For Walker — the middle son of five children — that's been eased with the FreeStyle Libre 2, an integrated continuous glucose monitoring (iCGM) system.

With longest lasting self-applied iCGM sensor at 14 days — nearly 40 percent longer than the other iCGM1FreeStyle Libre 2 is the only iCGM that measures glucose every minute (five times more often than other CGMs2,3) while meeting the highest level of accuracy standards.4 It also includes customizable, optional real-time alarms, so you'll know within a minute if your glucose has veered too far from where it should be. More features, excellent accuracy, all for a significantly lower cost, up to 70% less.5

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"It's great because I don’t always have to like go to my mom and dad and be like, 'Here's my number,'" Walker said. "They'll just always know once I check it."

"FreeStyle Libre 2 has allowed our family to be so much more at ease knowing Walker's numbers all hours throughout the day," Ray said.

Added Shannon: "When new things come up that feel like freedom, of course I want them for Walker. Making sure that he's not just surviving, but thriving."

He certainly is. He's 14, smiling, happy and perhaps the least surprising thing of all: A basketball player.

And like his dad, he's got the wisdom of a gentleman who's been around and seen some things. It comes with more than a decade of experience managing his glucose. He knows he's tougher than he might have thought otherwise. His advice for anyone — kids or adults — managing their diabetes is like his dad's shot: Perfect.

"Always make sure you're checking your number, always stay on it," Walker said. "And it's gonna be OK, you just gotta get through it."

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1 Based on a comparison to Dexcom G6.
2 Data on file. Abbott Diabetes Care.
3 Dexcom G6 CGM User Guide.
4 Based on FDA iCGM special controls.
5 Based on a comparison of list prices of the FreeStyle Libre 14 day system versus competitors' CGM systems. FreeStyle Libre 2 system will be list priced the same rate as FreeStyle Libre 14 day system. The actual cost to patients may or may not be lower than other CGM systems, depending on the amount covered by insurance, if any.

Important safety information

FreeStyle Libre 2 system

The FreeStyle Libre 2 Flash Glucose Monitoring System is a continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) device with real time alarms capability indicated for the management of diabetes in persons age 4 and older.*

WARNINGS/LIMITATIONS*: The System must not be used with automated insulin dosing (AID) systems, including closed loop and insulin suspend systems. Remove the sensor before MRI, CT scan, X-ray, or diathermy treatment. Do not take high doses of vitamin C (more than 500 mg per day), as this may falsely raise your Sensor readings. Failure to use the System according to the instructions for use may result in missing a severe low blood glucose or high blood glucose event and/or making a treatment decision that may result in injury. If glucose alarms and readings from the System do not match symptoms or expectations, use a fingerstick blood glucose value to make diabetes treatment decisions. Seek medical attention when appropriate and contact Abbott Toll Free (855-632-8658) or visit* for detailed indications for use and safety information.

*For full indications for use and safety information, see more here.

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