Posted by: Travis | June 7, 2010

Tour de Cure – The Final Push

I think i may have mentioned a few times that Rachel and I are going to be riding the 85 mile Palo Alto Tour de Cure next Sunday in support of the American Diabetes Association.

What i haven’t really talked about here is why we’re riding it – our (diabetic) friend Jeremy.

When Jeremy sent out an email to a bunch of people a few months ago asking if they’d be interested in doing the Tour de Cure, it was an easy decision for me for 3 reasons:

  1. I’ve talked to Jeremy about the Tour de Cure specifically and living with diabetes in general and i knew it was really important to him. Taking a day out of my life and maybe a few hours of fund raising time raising money for a worthy cause to help do something important for someone i care about is a no-brainier.
  2. There’s a bike ride involved. I would happily go ride 85 miles around Northern California with Jeremy for no cause at all.  I’m kind of a sucker for any charitable thing that involves bikes.
  3. The minimum amount you had to fund raise was $175. This meant that in the best case scenario, i would help to divert some of the charitable giving of friends and family to diabetes research. In the worst case scenario, i would just have to cut a check for a few hundred bucks to a worthy cause, and the money will be put to better use in their hands than in mine.

The team captain of our TdC team was so inspired by Jeremy being a diabetic and doing the longest route in the Tour de Cure that he donated to Jer’s page. Jeremy wrote back a thank you note that Peter (the team captain) proceeded to forward to everyone else. I asked Jeremy for permission to quote it here and he said yes, so here’s his take on being active with diabetes:

I’ve been a diabetic since I was 7 years old. Being in the middle of it, and having it be a central part of my life for so long, I don’t think of it as a horrible disease. It is.  The restrictions and complications are just a routine part of my life, but really, I would not wish this on anyone. I get the best care in the world, I’ve got an insulin pump and a super new continuous glucose monitor that my endocrinologist calls “21st century diabetes care.” I love the CGM. I love the pump. I have never had such good management of the disease.

All of this is not a cure. While I can use the pump and the monitor to ride more like any of my “normal” friends. I would love to be able to eat and snack without having to think about everything that I eat showing up in my blood glucose. You are helping with that. You are bringing us closer to a time where I won’t have to worry about that. Thank you.
I used to ride, many years ago, in the JDRF’s bike-a-thon in the silicon valley. I think the longest ride I’d ever made during that was 30 miles. That seemed like a real accomplishment. On Thursday, to get some miles in, and because I love being on the bike, I did 30 miles just riding an errand after work and commuting home. Just another Thursday. I think heading over the mountains next weekend will be a great test and some proof that diabetics (and those that support them) can push through and do anything they put their minds to.

Rachel and i met Jeremy through our (damn good) beer league softball team, Cha-Ching at Stanford. It’s one of the most fun things we’ve discovered since moving to California. Not only are we a really good team, but we have more fun than anyone else in the league (and we eat/drink better than the other teams too), and Jeremy really sets the tone for that. After a while we discovered that we both love riding bikes, so we started going on rides. Many of them much longer than the 30 miles he describes.

He has every right to be pissed off about being diabetic, avoiding sports all together, and playing the victim, but he doesn’t. He’s always happy and excited for whatever is going on (Stanford sports, Tour de France, Cha-Ching Softball, bike rides), and displays an infectious enthusiasm for life.

He’s not the kind of guy that likes to be the center of attention. I didn’t even know he was diabetic until a few months after i had met him. Another example of this quality? He always showed up to softball on his bike. Told stories of commuting to work in the rain. For the first year or so that i knew him i never saw him behind the wheel of a car. I assumed he was one of those guys that chose not to own a car and used a bike as his primary transportation. Jeremy’s not a self righteous guy, so it made sense that it wouldn’t come up. I just assumed that’s the way it was. Then he started dating Robin and about the same time started showing up for bike rides in the awesome red Audi turbo station wagon.  I just assumed it was hers, since i noticed both Robin and the car around the same time. That was about a year ago. I found out only a few weeks ago on a bike ride that it’s actually his (and not because he told me, we were talking about cars and i asked), he just really likes riding his bike.

So that’s Jeremy. Great guy. His fund raising goal for the Tour de Cure was $1,000, and he’s already up to $1050, but i have a feeling he might raise it again before Sunday. Go check out his fund-raising page (link), and if you can give anything, even $10-20 (every little bit helps), please do so. It would make his day.

He’s a guy that deserves to have his day made.


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