Let me start with saying that yesterday was one of my worst days in recent history — years. Traveling with diabetes should not have to be this hard. If you travel frequently you may not understand or have compassion for my experience. I have not traveled much in my life due to the financial impact diabetes has had on me.
How I came to learn about the Tour de Cure…
In 2011 I participated in my first ADA Tour de Cure. A friend I used to work with, Janae, was deeply involved with the event and loved everything about it. She told me all about being a Red Rider (rider w/ diabetes) and convinced me that the Tour de Cure was something I needed to do. She also talked to me about the volunteer opportunities available and encouraged me to help out. I was sold. I signed up for the Tour only a few short weeks before the ride. I also started volunteering my time to help make the ride better for all fellow people with food allergies.
Have you heard about TeamWILD? Or seen the name Mari Ruddy around the diabetes community? Mari is the founder of TeamWILD & CampWILD. WILD representing: We Inspire Life with Diabetes. I love this! Mari has also lived with Type 1 diabetes for over 30 years and survived breast cancer twice! What an inspiration she is! Along with TeamWILD, she also created the idea for the Red Rider jersey for the ADA Tour de Cure. I first heard about TeamWILD last year at the ADA Tour de Cure after-party when I met Mari for the first time. She came over to a group of us and enthusiastically shared about TeamWILD. I thought it sounded really cool but didn’t think I ever might do it. The program was for real athletes after all, right?