This November, I'm riding in a 100 mile bike ride in Tucson to raise money for JDRF. This will be my second year riding.
Type 1 diabetes (T1D) strikes both children and adults at any age. It comes on suddenly, causes dependence on injected or pumped insulin for life, and carries the constant threat of devastating complications.
Many of you may not know the daily struggles of a type 1 diabetic. Every year, a T1D injects themselves with insulin over 1,000 times and tests their blood sugars by either pricking their fingers 2,000 times or using catheters (replacing every week) for continuous glucose monitoring. That is the easy part. The challenge is to make sure blood sugars do not go too high or low. Bluntly, too high causes long term complications and too low can kill within an hour if untreated. Currently, there is no cure.
I know this gig as I’ve been an unfortunate member of the T1D club for over 35 years.
I am riding to support two indirect sufferers of T1D:
• The children of T1Ds: I want to make sure children of T1Ds (like my nephews and niece) do not suffer the same fate. Unfortunately, there is a high likelihood they can come down with T1D. If this threat were eliminated, this would be my definition of a cure. I ride for them.
• The parents of young T1Ds: I can't imagine the emotion, stress and strain these parents are put under on a daily basis while caring for a T1D child. I see them at walks, galas, board meetings, and research debriefs bringing passion and resolve to the cause. They do not get the recognition they deserve for all their efforts. I also ride for them.
JDRF is the only global organization with a strategic plan to bring those living with T1D a continuous flow of life-changing therapies and, ultimately, a cure for the disease. The amount of research funding alone in 2012 was more than $110 million. Since 1970, the organization has funded over $1.7 billion in research.
I have been actively involved in this incredible volunteer-driven organization since 2004 and I am currently serving as a Committee Member on the International Board and on the San Diego Chapter Board.
I look forward to the day when I don’t need to ask for your support. Until then, I’ll continue to ride and am hopeful you will support me with a donation to JDRF!