I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2011.
Before putting me on any medication, my doctor wanted to see if I could keep things under control with diet and exercise. He sent me to an excellent diabetes education class at a local hospital, and advised me to start exercising.
The exercise I chose was cycling. I started riding as often as I could, gradually increasing my distance (when I started, riding 10 miles was an effort).
An online friend mentioned a cycling event that, because I had diabetes, I would be entitled to wear a cool red jersey. I did a bit of research and found the Tour de Cure website.
In 2012, I signed up to ride 35 miles, and raise $300. I rode the 35 miles, but because of very generous friends & family, I raised $3500. I also met a lot of really nice & supportive people running the event. I even helped with route marking that first year.
Since then I’ve participated in 10 Tour de Cure events (8 in Chicago, one in Hawaii, and one in New England). I’ve also improved my cycling capabilities.
I now ride more than 3,000 miles a year, participate in numerous local cycling events, ride multiple century rides each year, and own 4 bikes.
This year I’m participating in two Tour de Cure events … I’ll ride 65 miles in the Chicagoland Tour de Cure and 550 miles (over 7 days) in the Tour de Cure New England Classic.
Riding in that first Tour really inspired me, and I decided to get involved. I volunteered to be on the planning committee for the 2013 event and joined the Red Rider & Team Red subcommittee. I also became captain of Team RED Chicago.
Since becoming captain of Team RED Chicago, its membership has increased to more than 100 cyclists, and we are on track to raise more than $85,000. We have been among the top fundraising Team REDs in the nation for a number of years.
I’m still controlling my diabetes with diet and exercise, thanks in no small part to Tour de Cure.
One thing I love about Tour de Cure that makes it different from other fundraising cycling events, is that training for and participating in TdC helps diabetics control the very disease they are working to eliminate.
You can donate to me by visiting diabetessucks.net.
You can see an interactive map of where my donations come from by visiting diabetessucks.net/map.