I Have Diabetes
It's ALMOST EVENT DAY!!! Red Riders & Red Striders, we are very exited to celebrate with you! All participants who are registered as Red Riders or Red Striders (participants with Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes) who have raised the $200 minimum will pick up their Red Rider Jersey or Red Strider Tech Shirt & Yowie at the Living Red check-in tent on Tour day. Just present your bib! In addition, post walk, ride or run, we invite you to enjoy lunch provided by Einstein Bros. Bagels.
Red Rider Spotlight – Bill Szemcsak - Couch Potato to Athlete via the Tour de Cure
When Bill was turned down for life insurance in January 2013, he and his wife, Cathy, learned he had type 2 diabetes. They knew he had to get serious about weight loss and controlling his blood sugar. He was unable to get a doctor appointment for a few months, but didn’t wait to get started.
“I went on the Internet and visited WebMD and American Diabetes Association’s website for information.” Bill says. “I started with a very low carb diet and exercised daily. I was starting to exercise with my wife, who at the age of 60 had just started running half-marathons, so I had good partners, with her and my friend, ‘Will Power’.”
Bill learned about the Tour de Cure, the ADA’s signature fundraising bike ride, and signed up for his first one in Jacksonville in May, 2013. With his daily exercise and diet, he was rapidly shedding pounds and lowering his A1C, a test that determines average blood glucose levels over time. Bill’s started off at a dangerous 12.7. In the first year (with a few more Tour de Cures thrown in) it dropped to a healthy 5.8. He shed 80 pounds, down to a slim 191 pounds of muscle. His body fat is just 7.9%,
In spite of this turnaround, Bill’s life is still deeply affected by diabetes. “People think diabetes is ‘just sugar’,” he says. “It’s so much more than just ‘sugar’. Excess blood sugar permanently damages your body. I have Diabetic neuropathy with pain. My sight is affected. My circulatory system along with many internal organs are affected.”
This year you can sign up for either a ride, run or walk which makes it easy for people of all physical abilities to be a part of this event. With hundreds of people who may share a similar story, and hundreds more to support you, being a part of this special group can help with your first step or your millionth—in your fight to live a healthier life.
Riding your bike, running or walking are great ways to stay in shape and exercise is extremely important for everyone with diabetes. To help you succeed you will have access to training tips specific for people living with diabetes.