The title of this blog is "It's not about the bike" so why is the first paragraph all about how great this event would be for me personally. It sounds like I'm excited to do this for myself and that I can learn more about life and myself while riding my bike all over the world. It isn't that simple, obviously diabetes is my life and I owe my life to those living with diabetes. For the past two years I have had a little bit of an insiders look at The Team Type 1 Foundation. TT1 is an organization based in Atlanta, Georgia, striving to instill hope and inspiration for people around the world affected by diabetes. TT1 is collaborating with the Rwanda Diabetes Association and the Ministry of Health. In 2012, CEO of TT1 Phil Southerland and Biljana Southerland interacted with children who have Type 1 diabetes at a NCD event in Kigali – many of whom were suffering from complications with the disease. Phil and Biljana met representatives from the Rwandan Ministry of Health, and presented them with the Macedonian model of providing diabetes supplies. “We hope to give children with diabetes a chance of quality life that they truly deserve.” That right there is what living with diabetes is all about, yes it is a daily job to manage my own diabetes but I can't complain!! I have access to the medicine I need each and everyday of my life. Children and others living with diabetes are not that lucky, if I can help those that do not have access to the medicines that allow us to live our life then I will endure any pain on the bike.
Team Type 1 is also funding scholarships in order to recognize young, talented athletes with Type 1 diabetes who demonstrate an ability to balance both academic and sporting commitments, promote good health with successful management of their diabetes through exercise, and support families already burdened with additional expenses associated with diabetes care. For the past year I have had the honor of meeting and talking one on one with a lot of the global ambassadors that TT1 has provided scholarships too. I have been moved to tears by their stories and so inspired to help the diabetes community in any way that I can.