Support me in the Tour de Cure!
This is my third year participating with the North Shore Tour de Cure fundraising event, where I also chair the Red Rider Sub-Committee. Red Riders are people with diabetes who ride in this event. When I rode two years ago, it was the first time I participated in a formal cycling event. At the time, I had my share of concerns about riding in such an event, including how best to train leading up to the ride, and then managing my diabetes during the ride itself. I did not even have my own bike. Taking spin classes on a regular basis, riding outdoors with supportive cycling mentors, and through trial and error, I prepared myself to successfully complete the 15-mile route that year. It proved to be such a fulfilling experience. The feeling of being out on a bike, and riding with so many others all in support of the same cause, was so exhilarating. Last year, I bought my own bike and moved up to the 31-mile ride. It was another great feeling of accomplishment. This year, I am pushing myself to ride the 62-mile route. It means taking many more spin classes this winter to get ready, and finding more time to exercise at home. But I think I can do it.
I ride because I have had Type 1 Diabetes since 1983. I also have several family members and friends who also have either Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes. I use an insulin pump and continuous glucose monitoring (CGMS) technology as part of my care program. Finding a way to better manage Type 1 diabetes is important to me. I also speak with anyone I meet with diabetes and encourage them to live their life to the fullest, and not let the disease get in the way of that. I have been active in efforts to combat diabetes in different ways for many years. I have participated in research studies and clinical trials, including the artificial pancreas trials. I was honored by Harvard University in 2010 for presenting one of 12 pioneering ideas for attacking Type 1 diabetes as part of a crowdsourcing challenge. The winning ideas were submitted to Harvard research teams for further exploration. I also served as co-chair of the ADA's 2007 Step Out to Fight Diabetes in the Merrimack Valley Walk.
For anyone who has a loved one, friend or colleague who suffers from any form of diabetes, I encourage you to participate in any way you feel you can.