Go to my JDRF site to donate...
So after who-knows how many hours of training and competing for various running, cycling, and triathlon events, I decided that I ought to put some of those hours towards a good cause. I was trying to figure out how I could combine my Ironman training efforts with fund-raising for JDRF; in the end, though, I decided that it would be best to do the fund-raising through one of JDRF's official rides.
Early this morning, I signed up for the September 2007 ride in Whitefish, Montana. I will be covering the 100-mile, very hilly route! My goal is to raise at least $5000 for the ride; $4000 is the minimum, but I hope to raise even more than that.
The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation is one of the most efficient charities out there and was featured in Forbes magazine back in 3/2005 (unfortunately, no longer available for free viewing online) as one of their top-rated charities. More than 80% of funds raised go directly to research to find a cure for type 1 diabetes. People with type 2 also have benefited and will undoubtedly benefit in the future from JDRF-sponsored research. But, the primary focus is to cure type 1. Additionally, the JDRF is supporting research to develop an artificial pancreas, which would combine CGM (continuous glucose monitoring) and pump therapies in a closed-loop system. This would allow type 1's to ease up on the constant vigilance they must have with the disease, and would lead to improved A1c's and, thus, reduced complications (as shown in the DCCT).
My attitude towards diabetes is one of optimism, that diabetes will not stop me from reaching my goals. Still, I have seen first-hand, in my life and others' lives, the struggles that this disease brings. And, although I try not to dwell on fears this disease can bring, the thoughts do sometimes flicker across my mind. I wonder how parents with small children can possibly manage the innumerable variables that seem to thwart optimal control. I wonder when my fingertips will heal from the 10+ fingersticks per day. I wonder how my uncle is doing after donating a kidney to my dad, and am continually grateful for the gift he gave. I worry about my dad's eyes. I wonder if complications are silently attacking me, weakening my nerves or pestering my own kidneys. I wonder what it would be like to do a race without fear that my blood sugar could bottom out unexpectedly.
My hope is that through research efforts funded by the JDRF, no one will wonder these things anymore.
If you would like to donate and feel you have the means to do so, please go to my JDRF page at http://ride.jdrf.org/rider.cfm?id=7134. I'll continue to give periodic updates here on my training.
Oh, and did I mention that donations are 100% tax-deductible?