Lauren Short is an average 5-year-old girl. Her days are filled with dressing up like a princess, dancing and gymnastics lessons, but beneath the cap of brown curls and a face that has just begun to lose the signs of toddlerhood, is a child battling diabetes. Her mom says, "She went from being a normal child who was eating whatever she wanted to having to get a shot every single time she ate. It was just such a traumatic time for us all." Despite adjusting to their new lifestyle, this family is far from content. They are holding on to the hope that a cure can be found and that's why they ride in the Tour de Cure in New Orleans, LA.
I have type 2 diabetes, but getting on my bike has helped me lose 63 pounds.
Marianne Grady wants to change the way people view diabetes. I ride for myself and all of the Red Riders. Red Riders are all Tour de Cure participants that have type 1 or type 2 diabetes and I encourage all of those with diabetes to become Red Riders to use their bike to get healthy.
Riding in the Tour de Cure is a great way to stay active, but it's also a way to give back to the community.
Three years ago, at the age of 46, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. My previous lifestyle meant going to the doctor once a year—maybe. So coping with the whole enchilada was overwhelming—shots, diet change, dealing with the medical system, and on and on. Over time I've taught myself to treat my disease aggressively, seeking and using every technology and continuously educating myself. My life has, for a large part, become my disease. It's simply my way of coping.
So now I'm looking at the next stage of life with type 1. I'm getting back on the bike (skinny tires instead of fat) and I'm figuring out the complexities of insulin and endurance sports. I'm also beginning to understand the emotional benefit of giving back to the diabetes community. Committing to fundraising was just as scary as my first shot—no kidding! But now I'm totally thrilled with each donation I solicit and each training ride I complete.
I'm looking forward to two big diabetes charity rides this year. My excitement level is pretty high for more than one reason. Of course I'm excited about riding, but I'm also excited and nervous about mingling with others with diabetes. My job and other interests, and my smallish hometown, all serve to limit my exposure to my fellow T1's and T2's. So it's going to be doubly exciting to meet others in the diabetes community and participate in the rides.
So here's a toast to every donor, every volunteer and every rider; May the winds be light and the road be smooth. May your conscience rest easy knowing you give back to the world. See you in the saddle!
Three years ago was my first Tour de Cure. I rode the 20K. I was in the worse shape of my life and at the end I thought I was not going to be able to get off my bike, but I did it, and I came back the next year. That time I joined committee, too. I knew that this event had affected my life so much that I wanted to help it to affect other people's lives, too. I made so many fantastic friends working on the committee and felt so accomplished with each little thing I did. I was also taking better care of myself and my diabetes each day. I also got to ride the 20K this year with both of my type 3 sisters and a new to Tour red rider. Hearing her talk about how amazing the event was made my 42 BG at the rest stop easier to deal with. I was so disappointed to get to the rest stop and know that my BG was low and then to test and see the number just made it much more disappointing. Then to see other red riders doing the same thing, (looking for candy and Gatorade and checking and rechecking) somehow made me feel so not alone. Then for a fellow red rider to say, "we all have those moments, let's wait it out" made me melt. Once again, Tour had touched my heart and impacted my life and it wasn't even lunch time yet. In our ride back to the Fairgrounds I thought a lot about how Tour has changed my life and how I never want to go another year without participating. Right after lunch was over my boyfriend, David, got down on one knee and told me he knows that Tour meant a lot to me and I meant a lot to him and he wanted to make it the most memorable day of my life, and he asked me to marry him!!!!! (I said YES) So you see, Tour not only affects all the Red Riders out there but it affects their support system, too. You guys are my "Tour family" and I couldn't be happier that I get to spend so much time with all of you and share such a wonderful day with you too. I look forward to next year's Tour de Cure already. I am why we ride! WOO HOO!! THANK YOU EVERYONE for riding in the Tour de Cure!