I am in New Orleans this weekend for the American Diabetes Association Community Volunteer Leadership Conference. I was honored to be asked to attend and even more honored to actually be here as I meet the other volunteers and hear fantastic stories about events, advocacy and ways people are carrying out the mission of ADA. I am not sure how many people are attending the event (a full ballroom) but I know that all of us are here to “Stop Diabetes” and are passionate about the efforts we are making towards that end.
November is designated as Diabetes Month. There are events to raise awareness that are held by ADA and by other organizations. There are 26 million people in the U.S. who have diabetes. There are 79 million people who are prediabetic, or have some symptoms of the disease. That is too many.
As I started writing this I realized that Sunday would have been my mother’s 99th birthday. She is the person I speak about most often when I explain why I am passionate about finding a cure for this disease. No one should suffer like she did throughout her years as a diabetic. She fought up until the end of her life, however, even with everything that happened to her. My family has many diabetics, all Type 2 so all diagnosed later in life. I do think about each and every one of them as I carry out the work I do with ADA.
This year I am the chair for Tour de Cure in Alabama. I am hoping to see a record number of riders on May 18, 2013 at St. Vincent’s 119 in Birmingham. We need you. We need you to come and ride, to form a team, to raise money to carry out the research and the programs, and to help raise awareness about diabetes and the consequences. Next June I will compete in my first Half Ironman. I am also using that race to raise money for ADA. I am still waiting for Raleigh to be added to the Ironman Foundation list so I can create my fundraising site. In the meantime I will use my page on the Tour de Cure site to begin the fundraising effort. My goal is $100 per mile for the Half Ironman, or $7031.00. I hope you will join me in this effort.