Welcome to My Tour de Cure Web Page!
I am riding because the American Diabetes Association's Tour de Cure is so much more than a cycling event to me. It is my opportunity to change the future and make a positive impact in the lives of those who are affected by diabetes.
Growing up, my younger brother Kevin developed type 1 diabetes at the age of 18 months. At the time, our parents sheltered me and my siblings from the seriousness of diabetes. Was it because my father's brother had diabetes since adolescence and was doing fine? Maybe. All we knew was that Kevin took insulin shots (I remember my mom boiling needles) and tested his urine for sugar. And he ate a lot of fruit. Eventually, he had complications that often ended up with him being hospitalized. When we were in our early twenties, Kevin was on dialysis. When he was twenty five, he died from complications of diabetes. I grieved for him; and for what I failed to do for him as his sibling.
Fast forward seven years. My three year old son is wetting the bed overnight, and is drinking juice like a fish. He looks at me one day, and says, "I'm so thirsty". And in those three words he utters, I know in my gut that he has type one. He is admitted to the hospital, and my husband and I are being schooled on how to give injections, insulin/carb ratios, sick day guidelines, low blood sugar emergencies...the amount of information we were given, and were expected to know, was overwhelming. And so our lives turned upside down, as we turned our lives over to keeping our son healthy, despite living with a life threatening condition. Piece of cake, right?
Two and a half years later, our daughter, who had only celebrated her first birthday a couple weeks earlier, started drinking copius amounts of water. I tested her blood sugar, and called our endocrinologist, who confirmed my worst fears. I remember thinking, "Why are you doing this to me, God?". Several years later, other members of my family would be diagnosed with diabetes: my dad (type 2), my cousin's daughter(type 1), my brother in law (type 2), and most recently, another cousin (type 2).
The next twenty six years are a blur...of testing blood sugars, giving injections, insulin pump training, sick day guidelines, 3 am blood sugar checks, DKA (sometimes ending up in the ER), making sure we had the very best health insurance available (often at the highest premium), diabetes camp, working with our kids to help them learn to manage their disease, riding in Tour de Cure, walking in Step Out Walk, consoling other parents, and advocating in Washington, D.C. at Call to Congress.
I am now considered a "Legacy Rider", which means I've been participating in the Tour de Cure for over ten years. In fact, this is my 13th year riding. Believe me when I tell you I would like to make this the last ever ride for the Tour de Cure, as I pray everyday for a cure for this disease. I ride in memory of Kevin, and in memory of my dad, my Uncle Edward, and my brother in law,Tony. I ride to honor my children, Andrew and Anne, and in honor of my cousins Shelby and Jim.
I am committed to ride and raise money in this inspirational event not because over 30 million people in the United States have diabetes, but because I personally know some of them, and I want to do something about it.
Chances are, you also know someone who has been affected by diabetes and you already know how important it is to stop this disease. By making a donation on my behalf or by joining my team, you will be helping the Association provide community-based education programs, protect the rights of people with diabetes and fund critical research for a cure.
With your help, we will fight for a future where a parent does not have to hear that their child has diabetes. A future where an adult does not have to face the uncertain times ahead after receiving a diabetes diagnosis. A future where you and I will know that we had a part in making this possible.
I truly appreciate your support. Together we can Stop Diabetes!
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