Like a brown bear coming out of hibernation, I went for my first outdoor bike ride of the year yesterday.
After cycling on a trainer in my basement since last November, it felt great to be back outdoors, even if I had to navigate around all the potholes, tree branches, pebbles, and other hazards on the road left over by winter.
It was Day 1 of training for this year’s JDRF Ride. I have 109 days to get in shape for cycling 100 miles through the green mountains of Burlington, Vermont.
It gets a little harder each year, not because I don’t enjoy spending hours on a bicycle in the great outdoors (I still enjoy it), but because my body is a year older. My knees, my hips, my back, my shoulders, my quads, my hamstrings — they’re all a year older, a year more worn and torn.
Why do I do it? For my daughter Hannah, who was diagnosed almost 12 years ago with type 1 diabetes (T1D) at age 11.
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 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.
Finding a cure for T1D is what led me to launch our Logistics Leaders for T1D Cure cycling team in 2016. We did our first ride in hot and windy Death Valley, CA. I was given a blue JDRF bracelet before the ride and I have worn it ever since. Whenever I struggle during a bike ride, I look down at it and it brings me the strength I need to keep going. Unless it breaks, I won’t take it off until a cure is found.
It’s fitting that we’ll be riding in Burlington, VT this year. Burlington is home to the University of Vermont, where Hannah graduated last May with an electrical engineering degree. It is where she pummeled the competition (and her body) playing rugby for her university team. It is where she proved to herself and others, as she has for more than a decade, that T1D does not prevent you from pursuing your dreams and passions.
What’s my dream? 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.
I need your help to make that dream come true.
Thanks to the generosity of family, friends, and team sponsors, we have raised over $332,000 since 2016. The good news is that significant progress has been made on multiple fronts in recent years. But reaching the ultimate goal of a world without T1D requires a lot more research and medical trials — and a lot more money to do the work, which is why fundraising remains so important. Our team goal is to raise $75K this year.
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.
Team Sponsors: Simply put, without the support of team sponsors, the success of our team would not be possible. We’re excited that Tranzact Technologies is returning as a Team Sponsor this year. 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.
Thank you for listening and your support. It’s time now to go for another ride.