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Diabetes Forecast

The Healthy Living Magazine

A Pledge and a Challenge

By Sara Sklaroff, Editorial Director ,

It's not unusual for me to be moved by articles we run in Diabetes Forecast. But in editing this month's issue, I came across a story that has made a big impact on my life.

It's about the Red Riders, people with diabetes who participate in Tour de Cure, the American Diabetes Association's cycling fund-raiser. There are 80 Tours at different sites around the country each year, mostly in May and June. Our story focuses on Bob Avritt. Avritt had volunteered at a Tour de Cure event back in 1995, but it wasn't until 2005—after his own diabetes diagnosis—that he decided to ride in the event. By training as a cyclist, he got a lot healthier, too.

So why did this story speak to me? Well, I too had never even considered riding in Tour de Cure, but for a different reason. Most people learn to ride a bike in childhood, weathering a few scraped knees in the process. No big deal. Somehow, I skipped that stage. A city kid, daughter of parents who themselves never rode bikes, I just never learned, and as the years went by, I figured that riding would be one of those things I never did. To be honest, the idea of it was incomprehensible at best: How do you not fall? And frightening at worst: You could fall!

Still, I kept thinking about Avritt, and about all the things people with diabetes do to keep ourselves healthy: daily blood glucose checks and shots, diet and exercise, and constant vigilance. I thought, too, of how hard I worked to have a healthy pregnancy with diabetes, and how much more difficult that was than riding a bike.

Or so I am hoping: Inspired by Avritt, I have made a pledge to learn to ride a bike and join the June 14 Tour de Cure in Reston, Va. I've formed a team, the Training Wheels, and I'll be chronicling the ups and downs of learning to cycle at my new blog, sarastrainingwheels.blogspot.com. You can find a Tour near you by visiting diabetes.org/tour, where you can also learn about the Red Rider program and other ways to get involved. Because, seriously: If I can do it, you can, too.

 
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While she’s still spinning music, DJ Spinderella (aka Deidra Roper) is no longer spinning her wheels when it comes to getting the right information to help her family members who have diabetes. Read more >