When my son Chad was diagnosed as having T1D at the age of 23 months, I MADE A PROMISE to him that I would do everything in my power to help find a cure for him! That event drove my wife Donna and I (back in 1975) to form a local chapter of what was then JDF; the Ulster County JDF. We are now part of a HUGE Greater New York City Chapter.
In 1994 ~ my daughter Melissa was diagnosed as having T1D. So
I renewed my promise to help find a cure for BOTH of my "kids".
In 2002 ~ my son and I discovered the Ride to Cure Diabetes and we took on the challenge of Death Valley.
In 2010 ~ my daughter joined the ranks as a JDRF Rider and made Death Valley her first ride.
By the time 2015 rolled around ~ we had created a family powered Ride Fundraising Machine; with Donna joining us on the rides to volunteer. That was the year that I was shocked and humbled to be awarded the JDRF PROMISE JERSEY. At that time I renewed my promise in front of hundreds of Riders & their family support teams. I
PROMISED to continue riding until there is a cure for T1D.
In December of 2021 ~ we were anxiously looking forward to the opening of Ride Registration scheduled for mid-January.
Then it happened... T1D took our son!
Our hearts were and are broken. Then THIS happened. An outpouring of support came our extended JDRF Ride Family. Cards,
Letters, Emails, Phone Calls and visits from Riders FAR & WIDE.
Memorial Donations to The Ride in Chad's memory arrived over a period of weeks ~ all with notes about how Chad had touched and inspired them ~ notes saying how Chad had helped them during their rides.
Although research made amazing progress that allowed Chad to live twice as long as projections according to statistics back in the dark days of of 1974... he put up quite a fight against this damn diabetes.
But in the end, time ran our for Chad.
In prior posts ~ I would write that "I'm taking part in the JDRF
Ride because I’m up for a physical and mental challenge that I
know will be the experience of a lifetime."
But this year I'm taking part in the JDRF Ride to remember my son Chad and honor my daughter (my Princess) Melissa who also rides...
...AND I PROMISE to not give up the fight against T1D. When doing so ~ I will keep in mind the words that are inscribed on a small lamp with an angel leaning against it ~ that my wife received (late Birthday Present last year from me)... "There are those who continue to light up the world long after they are gone."
That is what Chad has done... with memories of him crossing the Ride
Finish Line while doing a wheelie... memories of him riding in Death
Valley with a sling on because he broke his collar bone days before
the ride... and many more stories of riders he assisted during his
BECAUSE OF THAT I PROMISE TO DO ALL I CAN TO TURN TYPE ONE INTO TYPE NONE... SO I AM HEADED TO BURLINGTON VT FOR MY 28TH RIDE IN JULY & AMELIA ISLAND IN DECEMBER FOR RIDE #29.
...so simply stated ~ I need your support no matter how much you are able to donate.
You for your kind consideration of my online appeal.