A few months ago, we were watching one of those dystopian movies (I think it was A Quiet Place) and my oldest daughter Hannah said, “If this happened in real life, I would be the first to die.”
I gave her a “What are you kidding me?” look. This is a girl (young woman, actually) who has run two marathons, completed a few triathlons, and just this semester suffered a black eye and broken wrist playing rugby. “You’re the most badass one in the family,” I shot back. “There’s no doubt that I’d be the first to go.”
“That’s not what I mean,” she said. “If something happened where we had to flee into the woods or hide in some deserted place for a while, I would eventually run out of insulin and die.”
I was crushed. Again. Because she was probably right.
It’s been almost 11 years since Hannah was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) at age 11. Before 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.
And they need insulin.
Aliens don’t have to land on this planet to put Hannah and everyone else living with T1D (or who are insulin dependent) at risk of dying due to insulin supply disruptions. Earthquakes, floods, and other natural disasters have created challenges in the past — and they will again in the future. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult for many to get their insulin and other diabetes medical supplies. And the latest example, this one manmade: the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
According to JDRF, the leading non-profit organization focused on T1D research, there are 120,000 people living with T1D in Ukraine (many of them likely among the millions of refugees). In a post from April 11, JDRF reports that “insulin and supplies continue to flow into Ukraine through various humanitarian channels…More than two tons of insulin also arrived in Ukraine at the start of April. The diabetes meds were shipped from Direct Relief’s distribution center in Europe in special cold-chain containers with monitoring equipment inside. All items were provided at the request of, and approved by, Ukraine’s Ministry of Health and other on-the-ground healthcare providers.”
Sometimes, sadly, life is stranger (and scarier) than fiction.
What can I do?
It’s a question I first asked myself six 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. 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 $284,000 for JDRF since 2016!
Our LL4T1DCure Team is back on the roads in 2022! We have several riders signed up to participate in one or more of the JDRF Rides scheduled this year — including Death Valley, CA (October 13-16); Saratoga Springs, NY (September 8-11); Grand Rapids, MI (June 9-12); and Tucson, AZ (November 17-20). Our goal this year is to raise over $75,000 to help us get closer to a cure.
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). To learn more about JDRF Rides 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.
One of our original Logistics Leaders for T1D Cure team sponsors was C.H. Robinson, and they’re back this year providing logistics services for the JDRF Rides program. Another long-time sponsor is E2open (previously BluJay Solutions) and they’re pending as a returning Century Team Sponsor. And we’re excited to welcome a new sponsor this year, Tranzact Technologies, as a Team Gear sponsor.
We have a variety of sponsorship packages still available, which include many benefits, so if you’re interested in learning more, please contact me for details.
This coming Sunday, Hannah will graduate from the University of Vermont with an Electrical Engineering degree. And later this summer, she will begin the next chapter of her life, working as a Sensors Engineer at MITRE. T1D has not stopped her from pursuing her dreams, and as she continues to move onward and upward, there’s no doubt in my mind that she’ll continue to be the most badass member of our family.
As for me, my dream remains the same: to see in my lifetime the day that my daughter (and everyone living with T1D) wakes up without having to worry about her blood glucose numbers or give herself insulin. To see the day when the sun rises on a world without type 1 diabetes.
Thank you for listening and your support.