Christy Davis—Jacksonville Tour de Cure
When Christy Davis was diagnosed with diabetes at age 20, she did not know anyone with the disease, nor did she understand what it meant to live with it. "No one ever told me what having diabetes meant," she said. This soon changed as Christy became more involved with the American Diabetes Association.
A few years after her 1989 diagnosis, a friend told Christy about a mutual acquaintance, Tonya Threat, who had also been diagnosed with diabetes—an acquaintance with whom Christy would soon discover she had many things in common. Tonya had gotten married at about the same time as Christy, had kids at about the same time and saw the same endocrinologist. They both felt frustrated with their diabetes and struggled with the fact that nobody had really informed them about what diabetes would mean for their lives. "Needless to say, [Tonya] and I became good friends," Christy said.
It was Tonya who first introduced Christy to the ADA, and together they participated in the ADA's walk event. "I left [the walk] thinking, 'there really must be something to this diabetes. And maybe it's not all bad. Maybe I should start paying attention,'" Christy recalled.
Christy's experience with the ADA continued when—many finger sticks later—Christy met Evelyn Schumacher, MS, RD, CDE, and they started working together at Shands Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida. "When I first met Evelyn, she told me about all the great stuff she did with the ADA. Then she said I would get to do all that stuff, too. I was so excited!" The idea of being involved with people, like those she had met at the walk, was great for Christy.
Christy was recently involved in the Jacksonville Tour de Cure—an experience that was a great personal accomplishment. "I—a person with diabetes, a person who had never ridden a bike more than three blocks—did it!" Christy said. "Completing the event took a lot of work on my part, but it was all worth it."
It was comforting to Christy to know that the other Tour participants who rode were there for her—and they were also searching for a cure. They showed their dedication by cycling and sweating more than 200 kilometers. "Thank you to all of you who create a team, who collect money, who spend two days away from your family and friends," Christy said. "But most of all, thank you for making a difference in the lives of people with diabetes. That is why I ride, for people who are just like me!"