January 16, 2011

Charlotte at duskImage via Wikipedia

Had a good trip to Charlotte today to participate in the JDRF Charlotte Chapter Family Fun Day event at the Time Warner Cable Arena.  I had spoken to the staff at this chapter about helping out at a few of their events, and they were gracious enough to invite me down to speak at this one.

My original plan was to try to get some riding in in the Charlotte area before the event, but their weather, like ours, had all the local trails closed.  I was able to get to the arena fairly early and meet some of the tremendous staff and volunteers they have there.  It was so inspiring and invigorating to hear their stories, and experience just how dedicated the JDRF staff is here.  (Hi Lynne!)

The program started at 15:00, and I went ahead and set my "Nervous" temp basal rate of 60% a little before 14:00.  My BGs where spot on all day, but I didn't think I would get a chance to eat lunch between arriving and speaking.  PLUS, when I am nervous my BGs do trend downwards.  So better safe then sorry.  :)

I was to speak for 10-15 minutes at the new parents and first time Walk Event meeting, and then quickly go upstairs to the venue's Kid's Zone to speak with the children.  I was amazed to learn that 600 people RSVP'd for this event.  WOW! (Hence the afore mentioned temp basal - LOL).

Even with the staggering number of attendees, the event went off without a hitch.  Laura Maciag, the Director of the Charlotte chapter, and Sally Langan deserve a HUGE congratulations for doing such a fantastic job on this affair!! Thank you so much for letting me be a part of it!!!

It was a special allowance to start be having the opportunity to be talking with the individuals that have minimum experience with Type 1 or with the JDRF Walk program.  I actually was able to stay within my time limit (can you believe it??), and, I hope, still be able to get my message across.

Once done I rushed upstairs to the arena's Kid Zone to speak with the children and parents in attendance.  I grabbed this shot before the program started, and the scene was intimidating.  :)   The people to the left and the right of the this view were as densely populated.

All the younger folks sat in a circle, and I spoke with them from the middle.  I saw some faces I recognized from the mountain bike clinics, which made me very happy!

I would be amiss not mention how great this group was.  The asked AMAZING questions, and almost 100% of them said all their friends knew they were Type 1.  They all also played at least one sport, and all had spare supplied and fast acting carbs with them.

I was just blown away.  A tribute to the education and outreach programs available down in this area.  Impressive.

After finishing up, it was time for the attendees to go watch the Checker's play a hockey game.   I quickly set my basal rate back to normal.

During this time I signed some autographs (such an unexpected flattering pleasure - thank you so much for affording me the time) and was able to answer some 1 on 1 questions for 30 or 40  minutes.

I left the arena and road over to Brixx Pizza to meet two Tour Divide veterans for a bit.  My friend Cricket and Stephen Huddle met with me to talk training, equipment, and share some TD tails.  It was SO great to see Cricket and for these guys to take time to meet me while I was in town.  (It just so happened Stephen was in town for work, so I got lucky).

Left town and headed for home just after 19:30.

I felt VERY blessed to be able to attend and participate in this event.  It is so amazing to meet these young T1s and hear what they say.

I learn something every single time.  These kids ROCK!!!