Matthew Diggs | Fighting 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.”
Tour de Cure 2016 was a great success! Just to recap, I rode 65 miles, started a team of 18 riders or “Super Heroes” (as we’d like to be called), and hit a new record for fundraising ($1800 personally, $6,600 as a team). More importantly, we helped spread a message about diabetes and conveyed to the public that there were people fighting for a cure.
Now, 2017 is upon us! Which means bigger and better things than the year prior. This will be my 4th TdC event and 3rd year riding with my team, The Justice League. We are currently taking on ALL COURSES this year: 10mile, 25mile, 65mile and 100mile. We currently have 12 riders signed up with a goal to have 25 and will be ready to ride to continue our fight against diabetes!
With that being said, if you have not read my story, I have shared it below:
For those who do not know, I am a Type 1 Diabetic. I was diagnosed with this condition at the age of 14. I'll never forget the experience, for it has certainly had an effect on my life. To make a long story short, it was the week of my 8th grade spring break when everything unfolded. On what would have been a regular Sunday morning for my family and I turned out to be life changing experience. I was feeling extremely tired this Sunday, actually I had been exhausted the whole week prior, unknowingly going through all the symptoms of diabetes.
I had made it through most of the church service, but the closing prayer was always seemed to last forever. While standing I felt myself become nauseous, light headed, and I broke out into a sweat. I told my mom I felt like I was going to pass out. We start to leave the church and I couldn’t walk down the hall. My dad had to carry me out and they rushed me to the emergency room. Of course I resisted going. I told them to just take me home so I could rest, but my parents thought otherwise. Once we arrived, we explained what happened and they drew samples of my blood. Some time passed and the nurse came back to explain that my blood sugar was over 1000 and that I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. Everything else she said I do not really remember. I just know I held back my tears long enough for her to leave the room before I started crying. Luckily my mom was there to comfort me. She told me that everything would be fine and so far everything has been.
From that point on things were different for me and my family. My mom started cooking meals geared towards my health and my siblings were supportive too. It’s interesting because diabetes is supposed to be hereditary, however we know of no one else in my immediate family who has it. I don’t ever question why it hass turned out this way but I will say that I’m glad it was me with the diagnosis rather than my brother or my sister.
Although diabetes has been a life changing experience for me, it is now part of my mission to show people that Diabetes does not have to stop you from doing things you normally would do. It does not have to stop you from living your life. There are athletes, actors and actresses, and many other well renowned people living with diabetes. I have never let this condition keep me from playing sports, going out with friends, or doing any activity that was important to me. I say this because diabetes is not just something that older, overweight people are being diagnosed with. If you were to look at me you would never guess I was a diabetic. So when people find out I do have it, they are usually shocked. I use it now as a fun fact about myself rather than an illness that I have to live with. And often times it is an eye opener for those who perceive only one type of person as being a diabetic.
This year, Spring Break 2017, will mark my 13th year with diabetes. I am working on starting an organization promoting awareness of this disease using a creative, artistic, and athletic platform (@urbandiggsart). I'm also on the Executive Board for the American Diabetes Association, Chair of the ADA's Young Professional Leadership Council, and assist on the Tour de Cure Committee. I want to do everything I can to support and uplift fellow diabetics. If you’re reading this then understand we greatly appreciate your support, and that if you really want to help us beat diabetes then a donation of any size would surely benefit our cause. My goal is to raise $2000 this year! That’s what I need to raise to achieve “champion” level for this event. I have personally donated $127 (because I am 27 this year) myself to get started!
Thanks for taking the time to read this. Make sure you spread the message and tell your friends that you have done something to help #STOPdiabetes!
Your Local Superhero
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