April 21, 2015

Guest Post - Why I Ride

By: Tess Booker

From the time I was diagnosed with type one diabetes in July of 2002 diabetes has always been an ongoing battle. It’s a hard disease to face because each day offers new and different struggles to overcome. No day is the same and diabetes will constantly remind you of that. Although I’ve had my highs and lows with this disease (literally), it is something that has given me passion and a continuous drive to want to better the lives of myself and others with diabetes, and to overcome this disease altogether.

After just recently completing the Bionic Pancreas trial I have first handedly seen the direction we are going towards with improving diabetes management. While the Bionic Pancreas is no cure, it is a HUGE advancement in the diabetic realm and something that I hope all type ones get to experience one day. After 13 years with diabetes, the 11 days I was on the Bionic Pancreas was the first time I felt that I could take a step back and just let my artificial pancreas do all the work (and trust me it most certainly did not disappoint). It was my first dia-vacation ever and it felt great! The feeling of dodging low blood sugars and being comfortable with knowing I would not experience them while participating in the study was absolutely amazing and indescribable.

The ADA has always had a special place in my heart. This began because of their overnight summer camp, Camp Carolina Trails. I attended camp every year as a camper and it gave me the community and support system to not let diabetes control me and bring me down. This summer will be my third year as a counselor, and the lasting positive impact Carolina Trails gives me still continues to grow beyond measures each and every year.

Furthermore, in January of this year I took a position as an intern under Allison Barry (Raleigh Tour Event Manager) and dedicate my time the past few months to helping plan Tour and organize team efforts as well as individual riders registration. This opportunity has shown me much more about all the wonderful contributions that the ADA does in efforts to fund a cure, raise awareness for type one and type two diabetes, and to protect the rights of people with diabetes.

The American Diabetes Association's Tour de Cure is so much more than a cycling event to me. It is my opportunity to step out and make a positive impact in the lives of those who are affected by diabetes. With your help, we will fight for a future where a parent does not have to hear that their child has diabetes. A future where an adult does not have to face the uncertain times ahead after receiving a diabetes diagnosis. A future where you and I will know that we had a part in making this possible.

I truly appreciate your support. Together we can Stop Diabetes!