I’ve been riding the Tour de Cure since 2002. The cause resonated with me because my paternal grandmother had had the disease and my dad developed Type 2 diabetes when he was in his 50’s. I have struggled with obesity all of my life, so I assumed that I would eventually have diabetes myself. That year I had lost over 150 lbs. by dieting and doing lots of bicycle riding. The Tour seemed to be a great fit for me. It was my first experience with a supported ride. I was able to challenge myself by riding the 100km (62 miles). The support you get from the Tour organizers made it a great experience.
Since my first tour, I’ve gained and lost my weight twice and in 2009 I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. In spite of weight challenges, I have managed to control the condition with diet and exercise. It is a huge struggle for me. And I am really apprehensive about my future. I have already developed heart disease in addition to the diabetes. I am working hard to eat right and exercise regularly. Hopefully that will slow the progression of both conditions.
What I have learned since my diagnosis is that I had a lot of misconceptions about this condition as do most people. This is not a self-inflicted condition. There are plenty of people who struggle a lot more than I have. And most of them don’t have a weight problem. They are, unfortunately, predisposed physically or genetically to diabetes in one form or another. Even with new medications that have been developed it can take a lot of work to find the right approach to keep it under control. And the risks are huge. Complications as a result of diabetes are nerve damage leading to amputations or blindness, heart disease, atherosclerosis, and stroke.
Sponsoring me on this ride provides funds for The American Diabetes Association. These funds will be used to help people better manage their disease through education, advocacy against discriminatory treatment of victims of the disease and to support research that develops new and improved treatments and knowledge towards a cure.
Please, help with a donation to stop diabetes.