“There is nothing more beautiful than someone who goes out of their way to make life beautiful for others.”
Southerland co-founded the Team Type 1 Foundation and is spearheading the charge in global outreach, education and access to medicine. Southerland has said "“Our goal with Team Type 1 is to ensure sustainable access to medicine and tools for all people with diabetes.” Day in and day out they are committed to making sure that people living all over the globe have the medicine, and supplies they need to live a healthy and full life with diabetes.
Team Novo Nordisk is also a very big influcence in the diabetes community. Each and every member of the team has his or her own personal diabetes story. The members of the team are amazing and understand their bodies more than anyone in the cycling world. The know what foods they need to have so that their blood sugars are at a level which allows them to race successfully with diabetes. They also know what they need to do while on the bike to fix a low or high blood sugar. This knowledge doesn't come when they put on the Team Novo Nordisk kit, they had to learn how to race with diabetes the same way you and I had to learn how to manage our diabetes while working a full time job. Each member of Team Novo Nordisk has a unique diabetes story, for example one team member had his cycling team contract ripped up when the team learned that he was living with diabetes. A few of the stories are heart wrenching but they are sharing their experiences with the world and letting people know that it is ok to have bad days when you are living with diabetes.
To make the transition to becoming a pro cyclist a little easier for children with diabetes Team Novo Nordisk holds Talent ID camps. At these camps Team Novo Nordisk turns the usual diabetes camp into a cycling/diabetes camp. Team members show attendees how to have a healthy diet that is both beneficial for them as a cyclist and as a diabetic. When it comes to diabetes supplies the camp has everything covered and if an atendee is unable to get these supplies the team makes sure that they are available when the camp attendee returns home. The camp is amazing, I can't turn back time but I'd love to know what I would be doing today if this camp was available when I was in my teens.
Other pro cycling teams may have the big names and may have team members that win the Tour de France. That is all well and good but how many of them are changing how people all over the globe look at people with diabetes. Team Novo Nordisk will win a stage of the Tour de France one day, they may also have a rider that wins the overall classification of the Tour de France. That would be amazing and I would be so proud but I will never be as proud as when I see pictures of Mr. Southerland helping those in need when it comes to living with diabetes. At the end of the day that is more important than any bike race!!