What is Diabetes?
Type 1 Diabetes is a hereditary disease that affects 1 in 3000 young Australians and 1 in 2000 young people worldwide. The disease causes a failure of the pancreas to generate and regulate a supply of insulin to the body. Insulin is used to reduce the amount of glucose supplied to the body.
Diabetes is treatable day to day by manually doing the job that a healthy pancreas does automatically. People with Type 1 diabetes have to test their blood glucose levels multiple times a day and based on those values inject insulin into their bodies.
When my sister Jill, was 10 years old she lost a huge amount of weight and got very sick. She was admitted to the Mater Children's Hospital intensive care unit where she was diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes. From then her life changed from a carefree childhood to managing a delicate balance of sugar in her blood. Too much and she could go permanently blind, too little and she could slip into a coma.
The burden of diabetes is too much for a young child. There's several promising avenues of research for a cure. For the research to continue they need money.
Unfortunately juvenile or type 1 diabetes, a hereditary autoimmune disease that affects children shares it's name with type 2 diabetes, a disorder brought on by unhealthy eating, unhealthy lifestyles and obesity. Type 1 diabetes can only be treated with insulin injections and constant blood glucose monitoring, type 2 diabetes is treated with exercise and diet change.
Type 2 diabetes is much more common, self inflicted through an unhealthy lifestyle and is often referred to simply as diabetes. This confuses people and reduces sympathy for sufferers of the more severe, hereditary type 1 diabetes that affects children.
The Charity, JDRF
The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation has one goal, finding a cure for Type 1 Diabetes. It's an international organisation with branches in countries around the world including Australia. The Ride to Cure Diabetes in Australia is one of many fund raising events that the JDRF runs every year.
Unlike other charities who squander money on "raising awareness", JDRF is focused solely on finding a cure for Juvenile Diabetes, the only hope for children with the disease.
What is the Ride to Cure Diabetes?
The Ride to Cure Diabetes is an annual fund raising event started by JDRF in the US and adopted by JDRF Australia. Held in the South Australian Barossa Valley just one day before the Tour Down Under. Participants need to raise a minimum of $3500 to take part in the ride.
The event is split into three distances to allow the most people possible to participate. I'll be riding the 160km and longest course on the day.
Where does my donation go?
70 cents of every dollar raised goes directly to research. JDRF was recognised in May 2008 as the winner of the Australian PricewaterhouseCoopers Transparency Award, designed to reward and encourage quality financial and operational reporting in the not-for-profit sector. More information about how your donation is used can be found at JDRF's website.
JDRF is a registered Australian charity so your donation is 100% tax deductible.
Who is Jim?
I'm a 21 year old web developer who lives in Brisbane, Australia, loves cycling and hates diabetes.
In July 2009 I was hit by a car while riding my bike. I broke 18 bones including almost every bone in my face, 7 vertebrae and 5 ribs in my back. The Ride to Cure Diabetes is primarily about raising funds for the JDRF but it has a secondary purpose for me personally, recovering from my accident.
You can contact me via email about anything:
I remain unsponsored but welcome offers with open arms. Whether monetary or goods I can raffle or auction off I can assure you'll get a warm and fuzzy feeling that comes with doing something good (and get a place right here).
- Aaron Spence
- Bob and Peta Miller
- Kristin Johnson
- James Inman
- Tate Johnson
- Ranjani Sheshadri
- Your name here, donate!
Thank you all so much!