It's Ride to Cure Diabetes time - and this year I'll be headed to Tahoe riding with my brother Justin and a good friend, Dan - who just bought his first bike since high school to ride with us.
The JDRF Ride program has helped me deal with our family’s battle with type 1 diabetes (T1D) in so many ways. It’s been nine years since Caitlin and Duncan were diagnosed (that was a lousy year!) – and sixteen years since my own diagnosis. While we’ve become experts about our own bodies and have better tools and technologies available, managing T1D remains a difficult, daily challenge: continually checking/monitoring blood sugars; always measuring carbohydrate intake; constantly gauging the impact of exercise/activity/stress/hormones on blood sugar levels. All in the daily/hourly quest to keep your glucose levels in that (extremely narrow) healthy range. That’s hard enough to manage for myself as a grown adult; it's harder still to manage in another human being, even harder in a child, and doubly hard to do in two children. T1D requires constant attention, demands 24/7 vigilance - and causes constant worry. As parents, we worry about the long-term damage being done when sugars are "high" in our children’s bodies. We also worry that at any moment, they could go "low" – and face an immediate life-threatening situation. It only takes one of those experiences to realize how serious this disease is.
But for one day every year, I get to fight back: ride day. That’s the day I get to channel all my frustration with this disease into the pedals of my bike. That’s the day I get to bond with other parents and patients battling T1D in their own lives. That’s the day we smile together knowing we're not alone in our struggle. That’s the day when I truly understand how fortunate we all are to have such terrific family, friends, neighbors and colleagues who support us on our rides – to fund critical research to better treat, prevent and one day cure T1D.
I couldn't do this without your help. Thanks for your continuing support!
Tim, Michelle, Caitlin & Duncan
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