There is a 10-year anniversary coming up in October that I won’t celebrate. No cake, no balloons, no presents. But it is a day that I cannot forget.
October 4, 2011: the day my oldest daughter Hannah was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) at age 11.
As I wrote a couple of years ago:
When we woke up that morning, none of us knew anything about T1D or insulin or hypoglycemia or glucose meters. But by dinner time, my daughter was pricking her finger to test her blood and injecting herself with insulin, which she now needed to do every day to stay alive.
Scared and shocked, we all cried ourselves to sleep that night.
The next morning, the sun rose like it always did.
And here we are, 3,500 sunrises later.
My daughter is now a young woman, finishing her junior year in college. She has run two marathons, has completed several sprint triathlons, has traveled overseas, and has earned her first engineering internship, which she’ll begin next month. Simply put, T1D has not prevented her from pursuing her dreams and passions.
That doesn’t mean, however, that living with T1D has been easy.
A few months ago, for example, Hannah called us late at night. Her insulin pump had failed and she had no way to give herself insulin. It was 11:00 pm, she was already stressed out because she was behind on school work and studying for a test, and now she had to deal with this emergency situation. She had no choice but to drive to the hospital to get insulin and syringes, and then talk to her endocrinologist to determine the right dosage, and then inject herself multiple times per day for almost a week until her new pump arrived.
As someone once said, living with T1D is like living with a colicy baby that never stops crying. You simply can’t ignore it if you want to stay healthy and alive.
What Can I Do?
I asked myself that question five years ago and I came up with a big audacious idea: assemble a cycling team of supply chain and logistics professionals (Logistics Leaders for T1D Cure) to raise money for JDRF, the leading non-profit organization focused on T1D research. What started out as an idea became a reality thanks to the generous support of our sponsors, and together with donations from family and friends, we have collectively raised over $254,000 for JDRF since 2016!
Our LL4T1DCure Team is back on the roads in 2021! Like last year, we won’t be getting together at a traditional JDRF in-person ride due to the pandemic. However, since we all love to cycle and will do so throughout the year at our respective locations, the mission remains the same: to cycle with purpose, so that every mile we travel and every foot we climb gets us closer to a cure for type 1 diabetes!
In years past, I have done one century ride per season. I’ve ridden 102 miles in Death Valley, California; 104 miles in Santa Fe, New Mexico; 100 miles in Saratoga Springs, NY; and 103 miles here in Massachusetts. Cycling 100+ miles in a day is never easy, especially if heat, hills, and winds are involved too. It’s a 6-7 hour grind, but I remind myself that whatever discomfort I’m feeling, it’s only temporary. I also have the freedom to just stop or not ride at all. My daughter and everyone living with type 1 diabetes, however, don’t have that luxury. The challenges (and sometimes misery) they face are not temporary; it’s every day.
This year, because it’s been 10 years and finding a cure is more urgent than ever, I am raising the bar: I plan to do five century rides this summer, one per month, starting in June.
And together with my LL4T1DCure teammates, I hope to raise $75K for JDRF
How Can You Help?
If you’re a supply chain or logistics professional who enjoys cycling, please consider joining our team (cyclists of all abilities welcomed). There is no cost to sign up and no minimum fundraising requirement. However, since the primary goal is to raise money for JDRF and the various research projects and programs it supports, we expect our team members to participate, in whatever way they can, with helping us reach our fundraising goal. JDRF provides incentives for reaching certain fundraising levels (beginning with $150), and our team also offers incentives, such as earning a team jersey (below is last year’s jersey).
To learn more about JDRF Ride and sign up, please visit the website. When you register, please select “Logistics Leaders” as your corporate team.
If you just prefer to make a tax-deductible donation to help the cause, you can do so via my rider page.
Finally, you can support JDRF by joining Indago, our supply chain research community. It’s a win-win value proposition: you receive valuable market research that helps you make smarter business decisions, while JDRF receives valuable donations that help it make a difference in people’s lives.
Simply put, without the support of team sponsors, the success of our team would not be possible. A big thank you to BluJay Solutions and Descartes Systems Group who have sponsored the team since 2016, as well as other logistics service providers and technology companies who have sponsored us throughout the years too. We offer a variety of sponsorship packages, which include a variety of benefits, so if you’re interested in learning more, please contact me for details.
There is one sunrise that I hope to see in my lifetime: the day my daughter (and everyone living with T1D) wakes up without having to worry about her blood glucose numbers or give herself insulin. The day the sun rises on a world without type 1 diabetes.
Thank you for listening and your support in helping us reach that sunrise soon.