Rachel and I have decided to participate in the 2011 JDRF Ride for the Cure at the Tour de Tahoe. Please let me tell you why.
For the past several years my family has been involved in the Walk for the Cure. The Walk is the main event in JDRF‘s efforts to raise money to find a cure for Type 1 Diabetes. Well, there is still no cure, and as a result 2 of my three sons must do many things every day that other kids their age don’t have to worry about.
- My two sons still need to check their blood sugar multiple times every day.
- They continue to be tethered to insulin pumps.
- They continue to be hooked up to continuous glucose monitors.
- They get needle sticks to change those insulin pump sites every three days.
- They go to the school nurse to have their blood sugar checked when other kids go right to gym or lunch.
- They sit on the sidelines of the lacrosse game because their blood sugar bottomed out even though it’s their shift to play.
- They watch other kids eat all of the things that they truly desire but know would be very bad for them to eat.
- They have to remember to never leave the house without their “kits”…the supplies that the require to take everywhere they go.
- They trade in their Halloween candy.
- They wear medical identification everywhere they go…or at least they’re supposed to….(Matt, are you wearing an ID today???).
- They add up every carbohydrate for every meal and snack they eat.
- They end up in the hospital when they get a routine stomach bug.
- They get woken up in the middle of the night, sometimes more than once, to have their blood sugar checked and they’re tired the next day because of it.
- They have parents who have not slept through the night since the day of their diagnosis.
- They have a brother who wonders whether or not some day he will become diabetic.
They have to do all of this, and more, in order to avoid immediate life threatening emergencies and/or long term co-morbidities of T1D such as heart disease, blindness, neuropathy, and kidney disease.
I’m tired of waiting for the cure…I’m tired of walking…it’s time to step up the pace!!
To those of you who know me, it’s no secret that I need to work on getting myself into better physical shape – that is not an invitation for snide remarks in reply – You’ll see that I’ll handle that on my own shortly if you keep reading. It’s also no secret that Rachel and I have worked tirelessly to raise money to help cure Type 1 Diabetes. So, it seems that an opportunity to put the two together is the perfect combination!! This year our South Jersey JDRF Walk takes place on a weekend that we will be in Boston celebrating the Bat Mitzvah of one of our cousins. Although we won’t be here for our Walk this year, Rachel and I feel strongly that we need to continue our efforts in funding the research that will come up with a cure for our sons. At the same time we acknowledge that the training regimen for the walk does not accomplish my goal of losing weight and improving fitness. So in an effort to continue our JDRF fund raising efforts, and in the interest of transforming my abdominal keg back into a six pack, we have decided to step up the pace of both our exercise routine and our fund raising.
Yesterday we registered to participate in the JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes in Lake Tahoe in September. We will be riding the 72 mile circumference of Lake Tahoe with lots of others who have the same goal. As we train over the next few months, and as we ride through the High Sierras, we’ll be focusing on that long list of stuff that my kids need to do, and hope that it inspires us to pedal our way through the ride to help cure Type 1 Diabetes.
What can you do to help? Well, if you’re up for one of the most scenic bike rides in all of the United States and want to help raise money for a great cause, then click this link to sign up and join us.
If you’re not that ambitious, but you are feeling generous, then please feel free to click in this link (http://www2.jdrf.org/goto/teamkasper) and make a donation to help support our cause….we would truly appreciate the support!
I know that riding 72 miles in the Sierra Nevada mountains won’t be easy. But it’s nothing compared to the feat that my kids, and everyone else with T1D, accomplish every day in beating this disease. I know we can beat it for good, and I’m not gonna stop trying until we do!
We love being in Vermont – it’s our retreat from the hustle and bustle of civilization in New Jersey! During the summer and fall we come here simply to relax and get away from our otherwise crazy existence. In the spring we avoid it at all costs, as once the snow melts there is nothing else but mud and the bugs that come out are the size of a Volkswagen!
During the winter, it is truly a wonderland!! As you saw in my last blog entry, the boys just love to ski. As you may know, our kids are on the shorter side…not always a wonderful thing, but when it comes to skiing it certainly has its advantages. Until this year, for example, we have been able to get away with stretching the truth…Jake has been “under 5” for several years now, making the cost of a skiing expedition closer to affordable. Unfortunately, we are beyond that now…he’s just growing up too fast and there is no doubt that Matt and Ryan are over 5…so what to do?
Well, we can’t ski every day….I’d have to get two more jobs just to pay for our week’s worth of lift tickets!! What about tubing…that looks like fun….lo and behold, it’s affordable as well. So yesterday while Rachel went into town to do some food shopping, it was off the the tubing hill with Jake and Ryan….and my camera!
The corral of tubes was just bursting at the seems waiting for kids to come and play!
Jake couldn’t wait to get going!!
The two of them probably took 20 runs and had a blast!!
As the day went on the run got faster and faster. The crew put out rubberized mats to slow the tubes at the end of the run.
While I was watching the boys, I couldn’t help but notice that there are some crazy hats out there this year!! Fortunately I had decided to bring one of my telephoto zoom lenses, so I was able to capture a bunch of candid images of people unaware that I was taking their picture….here are a bunch of my favorites…I think I’m going to go back to the mountain just to hang out and get more photos of crazy hats…stay tuned….I may have an upcoming blog dedicated just to hats! After you check them out please leave a comment and vote for your favorite.
That last hat has a special story attached. As you saw in my previous blog entry, Jake was skiing like a demon. The day did not stat out all that well. His timidity caused a few difficult runs. Rachel was with him by herself and told me that it was quite a chore to get him to ski without clinging to her. They had to go into the lodge and when they did he saw this hat with the pompom. Immediately he went into beg mode and made it very clear that he wanted the hat. Rachel agreed that he could have it as a reward when he completes an entire run, from top to bottom, without her help. She was optimistic that he would complete this challenge successfully….by the end of our week. She had not anticipated that he would do it the very first run after lunch!!
So…Hat’s off to you Jake!! Congratulations on officially becoming a skier!! Now if only you would get rid of your training wheels and ride your bike!!