All ya'll know my bestie Tiburon has a son Ethan who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes as a toddler. In the many years we have been friends, I have watched first hand their struggle to keep the disease under control. It's not easy. And it sucks.
After he was diagnosed she did what every parent would do and researched, researched and then......researched some more. She decided to become involved with the JDRF Juvenile Diabetes Reseach Foundation. They are more driven to finding a cure than to just finding lifestyle adjustments. You can read more about the organization HERE.
For years, she has been begging me to come do a ride with her, and I've always had to decline. Mostly because I am a terrible fundraiser. I hate asking people for money, and I knew that I couldn't come up with the funds myself, so instead I have served as head cheerleader as she and Ethan have tackeled difficult rides around the country. As things turned out on 2014, there was an opportunity for me to go as Ethan's chaperone without me having to ask people for money. I booked my flight, and then began to get in some saddle time on the stationary bike at the gym.
At the time, I was having my neck and arm pain and issues, but didn't really have a diagnosis other than it was muscular. My plan was to stretch it often but come heck or high water, I was going to ride. Even if I had to take breaks and rest and readjust positions.
Luckily, I was able to manage to get on the same flight as Tib and Ethan - and we were off!
The resort were we stayed was BEAUTIFUL! I was expecting some warmer temps, but it was certainly better than back home in SLC and I'm a desert rat at heart so to me it was gorgeous.
It's been so long now, that I can't provide a play by play but I'll post the pictures, give a summary and call it good.
The bike room in the hotel, The bike room staff primarily: Mike, Terri and Andy were phenomenal. I knew that they would take good care of my Patrick the Purple Road Eater
Enjoying a little sun poolside
A fellow Utah team member who also works for Coke and knows my son. Such a small world!
A gorgeous sunset
At this paticular resort they have an evening tradition of telling a story and then allowing guests to sample a particular tequila. I loved the story and my drinking friends loved having my share
A beautiful settting for dinner under the stars
Me and Ethan - love that kid!
One day we had lunch on this golf course. It was amazing!
My official badge
A cool thing that they do is decorate the hotel room doors with notes and love from T1 kids
More beauty at the resort
Clearly I'm an idiot with the flash, but that's my official jersey
If you have spare time on your hands, you have plank contests. I win. Always.
Breakfast with Coach Bobby and my curly headed friend
Oh look - more planking. I win. Always.
Another shot of team Utah
Ethan, Tiburon, myself, Bobby, and crap I can't remember the other names (see what happens when you wait so long to post? I suck)
At the start line. Since the race is one of the biggest in the United States, the JDRF riders line up at the back and let the elite riders start it off.
Make no mistake who I was riding for. Ethan and my nephew Roger
Didn't get any pictures along the way. We were pretty much down to business and just riding. But here we are at the finish!
My own personal poster to cheer me on
Our finish time. Not too bad. I know Ethan would have finished much faster if he didn't have to stick with this old lady, but overall, I think we did well. Especially since neither of us trained. I wonder how fast we could have done it, if we had trained.
Love this kid!
Crossing the finish line!!
Later that night around the fire pits, just reliving the fun.
I have to say, it was an awesome experience. I really loved all the people I met, and enjoyed hearing their stories. They are an amazing community of people who are doing all they can to find a cure for Type 1 diabetes. They truly inspired me to work harder at causes that are personal for my family as well.
Big, huge thanks to Tiburon and Ethan for allowing me to come along and have this wonderful experience.
It's now 2015 and my bestie is again raising funds for the rides on the agenda for this season. If you or a loved one is dealing with Type 1 diabetes please consider donating to their fund.
You can click HERE and it will direct you to her fundraising page. Anything helps.
Let's turn Type 1 into Type NONE!