“If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?” – Hillel the Elder
In October 2011, my oldest daughter Hannah was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes (T1D). If you’re not familiar with T1D, it is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects the pancreas. People with T1D produce little or no insulin, a hormone essential for breaking down carbohydrates to feed the body, so they have to monitor their blood sugar levels throughout the day and take insulin, either via injections or a pump, to keep their blood glucose levels in a healthy range. Prior to the discovery of insulin in 1921, T1D was a death sentence. Today, thanks to advancements in medical research and technology, people with T1D can live long and healthy lives, but they have to work hard, day and night, to stay healthy.
This past December, a few weeks before the holidays, I woke up in the middle of the night to test my daughter’s blood sugar. I had a hard time pricking her finger to draw a drop of blood, and when I looked closely, I noticed why: all of her fingertips are scarred from the thousands of times she’s pricked them to test (over 12,000 times by my conservative calculation). I went back to bed and decided then and there that I needed to do something this year — do more — to help find a cure for this disease, which unfortunately is affecting a rapidly growing number of children and adults around the world.
So, I came up with a big audacious idea: assemble a team of riders from a select group of logistics companies to join me for a 102.7-mile bike ride in Death Valley, California this October 15th to benefit JDRF, the leading non-profit organization focused on T1D research. My goal for the Logistics Leaders for T1D Cure team was to raise at least $50K in support of JDRF’s quest to turn Type 1 into Type None.
I am excited to announce that what started out as an idea is now a reality, thanks to the generous support of Descartes Systems Group, Elemica, LeanLogistics, and MercuryGate. I’ve had the privilege of working with these companies for many years, and although they are all competitors in the market, they all answered my call and are united in supporting this cause, for which I am very grateful.
Each company is sponsoring an employee to be on the LL4T1DCure team:
- James Coon, sponsored by LeanLogistics (donate to James)
- Charity Newsome, sponsored by Elemica (donate to Charity)
- Gina Pratico, sponsored by MercuryGate (donate to Gina)
- Ken Wood, sponsored by Descartes Systems Group (donate to Ken)
- Adrian Gonzalez, sponsored by the companies listed above (donate to Adrian)
I truly appreciate each of these team members for making the time to train for and participate in this ride, especially with the busy schedules we all have with work, family, and other commitments.
Thanks to the generous contributions from our sponsors, as well as from with family and friends, we have already collectively raised over $38,000 for JDRF! If you’re a friend or a colleague of any of our riders, or if you have a direct or indirect connection to Type 1 Diabetes and would like to support our cause, you can donate directly to a rider via the links above. Your tax-deductible donation will help us reach (and hopefully surpass) our goal and would be greatly appreciated.
Why am I sharing this with you today? Of course, to thank and recognize Descartes Systems Group, Elemica, LeanLogistics, and MercuryGate — and their employees on the LL4T1DCure team — for their sponsorship and support in turning this big audacious idea into a reality.
But I’m also sharing this in case you also have an idea to benefit a cause you feel passionate about, a cause that is bigger than you, a cause that is waiting for you to answer, If not now, when?
My friend Manny Ohonme, who was one of my first clients many years ago, answered that question when he founded Samaritan’s Feet in 2003, an organization that “shares hope with children in the U.S. and around the world by washing their feet, giving them a new pair of shoes, and helping them believe that their dreams can come true.” Seeing how far Manny’s idea and passion have taken him, and the difference he’s made in the lives of others, remains a source of inspiration for me.
Manny’s answer to the “When?” question was the same one I came up with last December after pricking my daughter’s finger for the 12,001th time, and hopefully it’s the same answer you come up with too: When is now.