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Friday, March 30, 2012

Gathering for a Diabetes Cure

Last night I went to a reception for the Spokane-area American Diabetes Association "Tour de Cure," the aim of which is to raise money for diabetes research and awareness of diabetes awareness, prevention, and management.

As a Type 1 diabetic for the past two years, I decided to ride in this inaugural Spokane tour. The constant rain we've been experiencing this winter and spring (the front yard is currently flooded from the high, fast-running Cable Creek) have kept me from training much, but last night's reception has renewed my motivation.

According to tour organizer Todd Duncan, nearly 100 individuals and 23 teams have registered for the May 20 tour. He's hoping for as many as 500 by the time the tour begins.

About 30 people attended last night's reception. Many were organizers, but there were some riders, one of whom was Dave Holden, a University of Washington student from Spokane who rode domestically for the Team Type 1 professional squad. A Type 1 diabetic for the past two years, Holden spoke about how diabetes didn't hold him back from training and racing as a pro. Holden's a lot younger, leaner, and stronger than I am, but we both gave metered our blood glucose and took the appropriate glucose before dinner.

Dave will be among the more than 100 cyclists riding the tour on May 20. I'm sure he'll be both kicking butt and dispensing encouragement to the rest of us "Red Riders," diabetics who use cycling to stay fit and beat back diabetes.

Some of us will never recover from diabetes - until or unless biotechnologists create the first transplantable pancreas. But others will eventually benefit from the diabetes research funded by the Tour de Cure, and I'm riding for them. I hope you'll join us, wherever you live.

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