An Anniversary I Won’t Celebrate

Ten years ago today, on October 4, 2011, my oldest daughter Hannah was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) at age 11. As I wrote earlier this year in “3,500 Sunrises Later,” it is an anniversary that I won’t celebrate. No cake, no balloons, no presents. But it is a day that I cannot forget. 

“What can I do to help my daughter and those living with T1D?” I asked myself in the months that followed her diagnosis. I’m not a doctor, medical researcher, or miracle worker. I’m a supply chain and logistics industry analyst. What can I do?

The answer I came up with was to put together 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, as well as donations from family and friends. Since 2016, we have collectively raised over $254,000!

I’m always trying to raise the bar, both with the cycling challenges I take on as well as our fundraising goals. Together with a couple of LL4T1DCure teammates, I’ll be riding at the Gran Fondo Hincapie in Greenville, SC on October 23. It will be a grueling 83 miles with almost 8,100 feet of climbing. (I’ve never climbed that much in a single ride!) The mountains on this course are the ones professional cyclist George Hincapie used to train on in preparation for the Tour de France. Here’s the mountain that is already causing me to lose some sleep: Skyuka Mountain (4 miles, 1,813 feet, 8.7% grade).

On the fundraising side, our team goal this year was $75K and my personal goal was $15K. Unfortunately, we are nowhere near those levels at the moment. Fundraising is always a challenge, but during a pandemic, even more so. 

Therefore, instead of a total dollar amount, I have set a different goal for myself: to get as many new donors as possible by the end of October. No donation is too small. If you enjoy and get value from our Talking Logistics content, please consider making a tax-deductible donation in support of our LL4T1DCure team and JDRF. Any amount is greatly appreciated because every dollar gets us closer to a cure.

You can also 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.

(It’s not too late to sponsor the team either. If you’re a supply chain software company or logistics service provider, please contact me to learn more.)

T1D has not prevented Hannah from pursuing her dreams and passions. This past weekend, for example, she pummeled the competition (and her body) in a rugby match playing for her university team. And she’s on track to graduate this May with a degree in electrical engineering.

That said, living with T1D is a daily challenge. 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.

Today’s anniversary is nothing to celebrate, but I hope that in my lifetime, I’ll get to celebrate the anniversary of when a cure for type 1 diabetes was discovered. With your support, we can get there.

Thank you for listening.

To make a tax-deductible donation, please visit my JDRF donation page.