If you have someone you love or care for who has type-1 diabetes you know exactly why I'm starting this blog and why I plan to bicycle across the United States again this summer.
I'll be sixty-two in April, but age doesn't worry me a bit. I made the same kind of ride in 2007 and loved almost every minute of the journey.
Here's what does worry me: how do we find a cure for this ridiculous disease. "Ridiculous" may seem an odd choice of words. I don't think so. Getting hit with type-1 diabetes is like getting hit by a falling safe. It doesn't seem like it can happen. Then, suddenly, it does.
And you're not at fault.
One day, our youngest daughter Emily was a healthy 14-year-old and the next day she was a diagnosed type-1 diabetic with all kinds of medical issues to deal with, out of the medical blue. Her mother and I were stunned.
Emily? She took the news with determined grace. She was diabetic. Complaining wouldn't change that. Feeling sorry for herself wouldn't make her feel better. So she'd have to learn to handle the disease the best she could.
It's not easy. Sometimes she's more careful about what she eats and drinks and how she gives herself the necessary insulin than others. But she never complains.
So I'm going to ride for her. I'm going to ride for everyone like her, including 7-year-old Sidney Staebler. I met Sidney a few days ago while I was camping and bicycling in Big Cypress Swamp. I'll tell you more about her tomorrow. She's been type-1 for two years.
Sidney shows the same kind of grace as Emily.