12 years ago I rode in my first JDRF ride to cure diabetes in La Crosse, Wisconsin. After 8 months of hearing how different my life would be having diabetes, it was important to prove to myself that I could still achieve anything I set my mind to. When everyone tried to tell me what limitations I would have to live by, I decided to prove that diabetes wouldn’t hold me back.
Since that ride, at least two members of my family have ridden every year. It has always been a dream of ours to complete the ride in Death Valley. This is considered one of the hardest destination rides that JDRF offers, given the heat, large climb up to Jubilee Pass, and the distance over 102 total miles. It would be a lie to say that I’m not attracted to the challenge, and it doesn’t hurt that the ride always falls around my sister’s and my birthday weekend.
My sister and I share our birthday (October 15), despite being born 12 years apart, and this year we will celebrate our birthday with her husband, riding 102 miles in Death Valley to raise awareness of Type 1 diabetes and funds for JDRF.
As I said earlier, going into the first ride, I was riding for myself; to prove that I could overcome any challenge and do what many people would consider crazy. Throughout the ride, though, my goals changed. I was surrounded by people who were passionate about helping the diabetes community; businesses, individuals and families who had taken it upon themselves to help ensure that no one will ever have to hear that they will be dependent on insulin for the rest of their lives. Through my interactions with them, my new goal became focused on helping to raise awareness, decrease the stigma associated with diabetes, and raise funds to help the millions of people world-wide that don’t have access to the state of the art CGMs and insulin pumps that keep so many of us alive every day. Make no mistake, the things that I rely on daily only keep me alive. There is no cure for Type 1 Diabetes.
This year I am thankful to my employer, Ascensia Diabetes Care, for supporting me in my ride. They have generously donated $6,000 to JDRF to cover my participation. Over the next few months of training, as well as throughout the ride itself, I will be sharing my experience with all of you. In addition to sharing what it is like to train and ride as a person with diabetes, I also look forward to sharing my experience as a current user of the Eversense E3 Continuous Glucose Monitor.
Even with this amazing support, my sister, her husband and I will still need to raise over $12,000 in order to ride across the finish line together. So, if you would like to support our fundraising efforts, please consider donating to their individual pages (Jessami or Alex Schaefer)to see why they ride and help us towards our goal of finding a cure for Type 1.
Please feel free to leave a comment under this post to ask any questions you may have – whether it’s regarding my experience as an Eversense E3 user, how I am adjusting my diabetes management to account for increased activity, the changes in my diet, or any of the millions of micro-adjustments I’ll be making to ensure I can cross the finish line safely!