National Day of Service – A Plea for Continued Change

Today was an incredible day.  Regardless of political persuasion, you have to have respect for the fact that the President of the United States was sworn into office today. (Ok, yes, he was sworn in yesterday in a private ceremony because the constitution says that the POTUS is to be sworn in on the 20th day of January.)

And it was Martin Luther King Day.  A day to remember one of the most historic movements in United States History.  In a time when many of our heroes are falling down, it is wonderful to remember a man who made so much positive change in the world.  Dr. King once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?'”

And this is what has spurred the President’s National Day of Service.  Today is a day for people to come together and serve to help their friends, neighbors and community.  I urge you to take some time and give back.  Do it in a way that makes sense for you.  What do you care about?  Who is important in your life?  How can you make positive change in the your world?  Small gestures make big changes for the people you serve.

It is no secret that my service lies with the JDRF.  You hear of what my family faces on a daily basis due to living with T1D in the family.  This is a 24/7 disease with no breaks.  There is no time off.  Ok, maybe I received some time off during the artificial pancreas trial, but that is not a normal situation available to everyone, and if I am to share one statement from that experience?  “Every T1D deserves to get some time off!”


So I pose the question, “Is a National Day of service enough?”

I just am not sure that is the case.

So, I will ride, and run to provide my service to the JDRF.

And here are the events I will do:

Tobacco Road Marathon, March 17th, North Carolina.  Donation:

April Fools Half Marathon, April 7th, Atlantic City, NJ. Donation:

Mike’s Miles 5k at Cedarvale Winery, April 20th, Logan Township, NJ (My wife organizes this one):  Registration:

JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes, July 27th, Burlington, VT.

JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes, September 21, Nashville, TN.

If you are able to give back to your community, I urge you to do so.  There are so many ways:

1. Coach your kids ball team

2. Serve at your church or synagogue

3. Volunteer with a local non-profit you believe in

If you are part of the T1D community, I believe you should volunteer with the JDRF.  Those of us living with T1D over the last 40 years have reaped the rewards of volunteers before us serving diligently and tirelessly with the JDRF.  Knowledge gained is from their sweat and determination to make it better for those that came after them.  They have succeeded.

Find a way to use your skill sets that fit you.  The above list has developed from my skill sets.  I enjoy health and fitness activities.  I am a runner and cyclist because I need to focus on reducing my cardio vascular risk factors.  The JDRF needs coaches and volunteers to help with their endurance programs.  Good fit.

If we, the T1D community, don’t pick up the slack and volunteer and fight for ourselves and our family, who will?  Why would anyone fight for us if we don’t fight for ourselves?  THERE IS NOT A CURE, and WE NEED YOUR HELP.

Today I am asking everyone in the T1D community, if you haven’t worked with the JDRF, to volunteer with the JDRF and help them make positive change for the world we live in.  Fight for yourself, and fight for your family.

Training for Life – Running, Riding and the JDRF Ride to Cure

“Everything flows, nothing stands still” – from the Greek philosopher Heraclitus.

No truer words can be spoken or experienced by those with T1D.  I have lived this over the past few weeks.  As life changes, so do sleep patterns, food consumption, exercise levels and basal rates.  Yes, basal rates.

Basal Rate = The base rate of insulin taken by a T1D who uses an insulin pump to manage their diabetes.  The less active I am , the more insulin I need, and conversely, the more active I am, the less insulin I need.  Insulin becomes more efficient as my body does.

I have also learned that those with T1D for a long time, and those who took pork or bovine insulin may be at an increased risk for insulin desensitivity.

So, why do I run?  Why do I ride?  Why do I participate in the JDRF Ride to Cure program?  Lord knows, I am a retired hammer and discus thrower, there is no reason I should be participating in endurance athletics.  My college teammates still laugh when the hear I am running marathons and wearing spandex in cycling events.  Can;t say I blame them.


I run/ride to stay healthy, to reduce my already increased cardio vascular risk factors.  I run/ride to make my body more efficient, because I took pork insulin for years, and I have seen some decreased sensitivity to insulin when I am not consistently exercising.  I run/ride, because it helps me stay focused on healthy outcomes, and hopefully, it will keep me healthier, for longer and later into my T1D life.

I participate in the JDRF RIde to Cure program because of all of the above, in addition to many others.  It feels good.  It feels good to give back, and fight for something you believe in.  It feels good to accomplish physical challenges that my early doctors said I would not.  It feels good to participate and share a weekend with others who fight this fight with me.  It feels good to see the T1D supporters, i.e. moms, dads, and siblings, fight and gain some control over their T1D infused life.

As I rode in Tucson in 2011, and then in Vermont this past summer, I experienced this and witnessed many others experience the JDRF Ride program as a life changing event.  Ride for you, your spouse, your son or daughter, grandchild, friend….Ride because you would truly be changing someone’s life and making a positive impact.

If you want to get a good feel for what its about, go to JDRF Ride to Cure on Facebook and like the page.  The Death Valley event is this weekend and it will be busy.