2013 Ride: La Crosse, WI
Thirteen-year-old Ethan was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D) at the age of four. He spent four days in Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, UT, getting his blood sugar level under control while his parents learned how to care for him. Ethan began checking his blood sugar and taking insulin shots as many as 8 to 10 times a day until he switched from injections to an insulin pump three years ago.
Since his diagnosis, Ethan and his family began working with JDRF as volunteers and have raised more than $30,000 for T1D research! They have participated in the Walk to Cure Diabetes every year and the Ride to Cure Diabetes since 2009. Ethan works with his local JDRF chapter as a youth ambassador, making presentations to local businesses about his life with T1D. In 2010, Ethan received the JDRF Utah Chapter Children’s Heart Award, which is given to a child that shows exceptional commitment to finding a cure for T1D.
In 2011, Ethan was chosen as one of two delegates from Utah to JDRF’s Children’s Congress. He traveled to Washington, D.C., with more than 100 other children, to meet face-to-face with top decision makers in the U.S. government. The group testified before Congress and also met with Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
Last year, Ethan joined the JDRF Ride, raising more than $10,000 and riding in El Tour de Tucson in November. Near mile 30 of the 111-mile ride, Ethan noticed his insulin pump had stopped working. After several unsuccessful attempts to restart it, he realized it was dead. Fortunately, there were four JDRF Ride coaches with him, three of whom had T1D. One coach had an insulin pen and an extra needle and was able to dose Ethan with insulin until he finished the entire course.
JDRF awarded Ethan the Best Young Rider jersey, which is given to a youth rider who is not afraid to try what others consider impossible. He also received the El Tour Junior Award from the Perimeter Bicycling Association of America and the El Conquistador Trophy, the most prestigious award at El Tour de Tucson, for being the youngest rider to finish all 111 miles.
Type 1 diabetes is not without its share of complications. Ethan estimates that in the nine years since his diagnosis, he has pricked his finger to check his blood glucose nearly 28,000 times and has given himself insulin more than 20,000 times. He was hospitalized in 2009 for a very bad case of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), a serious, sometimes fatal, complication of T1D. It can cause swelling of the brain tissue, and Ethan was 20 minutes from brain surgery when the swelling in his brain finally stopped. It was a very scary time, and, sadly, the threat of complications is an everyday reality. Diabetes never gives Ethan a break. It has followed him to every baseball game, pestered him at every meal, and kept him awake at night. It will be his constant companion until a cure is found, and that is why Ethan and his family support JDRF and the Ride to Cure Diabetes.
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Thirteen-year-old Ethan was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D) at the age of four. He spent four days in Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, UT, getting his blood sugar level under control while his parents learned how to care for him...
July 25 - 28, 2013
The Burlington, VT Ride offers "classic New England" cycling on some of the most scenic roads that the state has to offer. The JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes course travels through historic villages, featuring covered bridges and flowing rivers. Take in spectacular views while cycling through the pristine Champlain Valley.