Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Safe, Sound, and Smiling

JDRF, staff, coaches, the medical team, volunteers, and riders have a saying that they want to see everyone back after a ride event "Safe, Sound, and Smiling." The last thing that any of them want to see is a rider who pushed themselves past their own limits and therefore requires medical attention by the paramedics or doctors on site. In weather like we experienced Saturday in Death Valley, dehydration is far too common. If it is not caught early, it can result in IVs, heat stroke, and even death. Friday's safety meeting was no joke. They really hit home the fact that we all needed to be drinking water and electrolytes as fast as we could. The truth of the matter is that in the "dry heat" there really is no way to drink more electrolytes as fast as you lose them. Point being...it was hot, real hot, and hydration was by far the most important part of the weekend.

Here are a few stats from the 2010 Ride to Cure Diabetes in Death Valley:
- 104 miles
- 109 degrees (some reports said it was upwards of 117)
- 350 riders
- $1,300,000 ++ for research to help find a cure for diabetes and its complications through the support of research
- 3 dozen (at least) - the number of water bottles that Jessica and I consumed in 4 days

Jessica and I were once again reminded that our fight for a cure for diabetes is one that we are not alone in. The whole process of the Ride to Cure Diabetes showed us that we do have loving friends, family, co-workers, and in some cases, total strangers, who are with us in this fight! From fundraising, to training, to the actual ride weekend...we are all in this together.

For those of you who donated your money, thoughts, and prayers; as promised I rode all 104 miles with a list in my jersey pocket with each of your names. One of the first things that I told Jessica after the ride is that when it got hot (real damn hot), lonely, and downright difficult on Saturday, I pulled that list out of my back jersey pocket and just read the names. I cannot really explain how seeing each of your names made me feel when I was in the middle of absolutely nowhere amongst my coyote friends (yes, we really did ride past a coyote watching the ride from the side of the road) in Death Valley National Park. Thank you for your support once again this year. As I tweeted on Saturday, I sure hope we find a cure soon because I do not want to have to go back there and ride again.

During the ride, during one of the lonely and hot times, I did make a video so that each of you could get a glimpse into life in the desert. I hope you enjoy the video and I look forward to seeing each of you soon. It is all about the journey and the Ride to find the cure!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Constantly Reminded

For any of you who have been affected in one way or another, directly or indirectly, by a terminal illness, you know what it is like. Whether you are diagnosed yourself, or you care for someone who is, you know what I am talking about. Regardless of the diagnosis, it is never easy. However, events such as the Ride to Cure Diabetes weekend help us remain constantly reminded about the need to find a cure. Out of the 350 riders here in Death Valley this weekend, all of them have a passion to find a cure for diabetes and its complications. That reason alone is why they support JDRF and why they have taken time and money to be here this weekend.

I met a family from Cleveland, OH. There are three of them who made the trip to DV this weekend. Mom, Dad, and 10 year old daughter. Their daughter is not very comfortable wearing her insulin pump in a place on her body that is visible, or having the actual pump clipped to her waistline, because she does not want others to see her with it on. It is sad, it is disheartening, and it is just one of dozens of reasons that a cure must be found in our lifetime.

Thank you again for supporting me through donations, prayers, and words of wisdom during my 2010 training process. Below are a few pictures from our exploration around DV today during a few hours of free time. Many more photos will be posted post-ride. We are heading off to eat dinner with the entire group shortly and then we leave Furnace Creek Ranch for our 105 mile journey in 100+ degree temps tomorrow at sunrise. Time to find the cure!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

So This Is It?

Really? This is where I am riding my bike 105 miles on Saturday. What was I thinking!?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Week Is Here

This is a big week for The Shafer Family. While this is our second time doing the Ride to Cure Diabetes event, anytime we participate in a diabetes fundraiser I am constantly reminded how important it is to have great Type IIIs to lean on in life. In less than two weeks, I will have my 12 year anniversary since being diagnosed with diabetes. If it had not been for our loyal and gracious friends and family, the journey over the last 12 years would have been much more difficult. From my parents who were with me on Day 1, to Jessica who puts up with me today, day 4,367, I could not have done it for this long by myself.

Everyone has their own trials and tribulations. There are always times when you want to "turn around, pack it up, and call it quits" (- Steve Jobs Quote). Jobs goes on to say "these are the times that you know that you are pushing yourself, that you are not afraid to learn by trying." We all have obstacles to overcome. Life is never easy, living with any type of medical condition is never easy, cycling 100 miles is never easy, taking the plunge for that "job of your dreams" is never easy. Whatever the situation, it is through perseverance, determination, and a support network, that we all make it through.

On Thursday morning, Jessica and I leave for the airport. We fly west and will be in Death Valley by dinner. The entire Ride Weekend is a great testament to the hard work of JDRF. However, and this is frequently said, "JDRF is in business to put themselves out of business." Maybe this is the last year that an event like the Ride is needed. Maybe next week, next month, or next year, a cure will be found. Those of us with diabetes will be cured and then focus on the part of scientists and researchers can be turned to other incurable questions that remain. Until then, please continue supporting anyone you may know who is also in the fight for a cause close to their heart.

Time to start packing and tieing up loose ends before we head out. The high today in DV was 99, Saturday is forecasted to be 100 on the dot. Maybe a rain shower will pass through the desert this week and cool things down! Mm, maybe not...

By the way, I am only $130 away from my $3,000 goal. Pass this on to someone else who you may know that would be interested in making a gift to the cause! Or, just ask them to CLICK HERE. Thank You!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Heading West

The bike is on the truck heading west on "The Gray Lady!" I met Paul, the truck driver for Gainey Transportation Services, on Sunday night around 10pm. The sea of semi-trucks idling in the crisp fall night at the Pilot Travel Center was no match for the Honda Pilot. After knocking on the cab door of the wrong truck, I found the right truck and Paul loaded the Trek. We discussed "The Ride" for a few minutes and then he was back on I-40. From Knoxville he was traveling to Greenville, SC, then on to Atlanta, Indianapolis, Denver, and then Death Valley, picking up a few more bikes at every stop.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Two Weeks From Today

Two weeks from today Jessica and I leave for Death Valley. Thanks to all of you, we are doing well in the fundraising but still hope to raise more as we work for a cure!

In case you were wondering, today's high in DV is 112. Fear not though, temps will get into the 60s at night and only rise into the 90s during the day starting next week. Let's hope winter hits the dessert in two weeks! Here is the ten day forecast as it stands right now.

The semi-truck that drives around the country picking up bikes for each JDRF Ride event will be coming through Knoxville on Sunday night or Monday morning. Paul, the truck driver, will be meeting me to pickup my bike and load it in with the hundreds of other rider's bikes who are making the trip to DV this year.

After my bike is picked up, I hope to ride Jessica's hybrid a few times next week and the following week before we leave. It will be a bit like training for a swim meet with a t-shirt on...helps to have a little "drag" attached to you so that the road bike feels like feathers on October 16th!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Last Day

The last day for the "Ride With Me in Death Valley" challenge is tomorrow. As of tonight, we still have 31 miles available to be sponsored at $10 per mile.

If you have not yet made your gift, please consider doing so, not for me necessarily, but for the millions of diabetic men, women, and children worldwide. Three weeks from tomorrow we fly to Death Valley to begin ride day prep. One week from Friday my bike is loaded on a semi-truck for its own trek across country. This truck goes to many cities throughout the country picking up bikes for riders in the Death Valley event.

Give to The Challenge now and let me know which miles you would like to sponsor. Your name on that list of 105 miles is going to be what motivates me to finish the ride this year. Thanks for your support!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Ride With Me In Death Valley

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Dear Friends and Family:

Back in July, I sent out my 2010 Ride to Cure Diabetes appeal for support of The Shafer Ten Year Team once again this year. Many of you have responded and I cannot begin to express my sincere gratitude and thanks for your generosity to date. As of the writing of this note, you have helped me raise $1,340! Every dollar of that total will be going to research as Jessica and I personally cover all expenses related to this event. Not one penny of the dollars raised support anything but science behind what will one day be a cure for the millions of people with diabetes worldwide. Hopefully lives will be saved and research and healtchare dollars can then be designated to cure yet another disease to save even more lives. It is estimated that the annual cost of diabetes in the US alone is $132 billion annually!


Now, last Wednesday, I posted a blog and in that entry I wrote about a challenge that would be realeased today. Well, here it is! My goal for the 2010 Ride is $3,000. The ride itself, all 105 miles, takes place exactly one month from today on October 16th. I would like to make a challenge to all of you to support me by the mile. Here is how this will work. For the low low price of $10, you can “ride a mile with me in Death Valley.” It has a great ring to it and I am going to carry a sheet with me during the ride to remind me of everyone who has made this event a success this year. To be fair, the first 15 miles are already taken and the last mile is already taken as well. The first 15 miles go to the 15 individuals or families who have already donated to the cause and you will be given a number based on chronological order of your gift to date. The last mile of the ride goes to Jessica because I know at that point I will be needing the ice cold towel and cold water that she will be holding at the finish line!

So, “Ride a mile with me in Death Valley!” 89 miles of the 105 mile route are up for grabs and when you make your gift, please indicate which mile you want to sponsor. For example, if you give $50 tomorrow, you get 5 miles and you can choose the mile numbers to sponsor (i.e. - miles 50-54). My goal is to get all 89 remaining miles sponsored and in turn raise $890 more dollars towards my goal by next Thursday, September 23rd.

Complete the challenge by GIVING HERE!

Thank you for participating and let’s get all 105 miles sponsored as we all Ride to Cure Diabetes!


...if you wanna go and take a ride with me

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

106 Degrees

That is today’s high temperature in Death Valley, California (DV). Over the next ten days the lowest temperature predicted is 71 degrees and the highest is 110 degrees. In a short 39 days from today, I will be riding along side others fighting for a cure for diabetes. This fight will be in all friends, family, volunteers, riders, and staff at the ride. This fight will take place during the fourth of five JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes events in 2010, the Death Valley Ride to Cure. The third event of the season is actually this weekend in Lake Tahoe, Nevada.

To date, you have contributed $915 or 30% of my $3,000 goal for 2010. Through your support, I am hoping to surpass my goal of $3,000 and afford JDRF the opportunity to continue to support ground breaking research to rid the world from the constraints of diabetes.

It has been some time since I last wrote on this blog and sometimes life takes a turn that you do not expect. “Life on life’s terms” unfortunately can throw you a bit off track and this is why I have not written on the blog over the last few weeks. I hope to get back on track and regularly update you on where things stand with my training. I also plan to release one more fundraising challenge on next Thursday, September 16th, exactly one month prior to the big event.

To update you on where things are to date, I have been trying to do a strenuous ride each weekend while riding during the week as much as possible. My goal has been to ride twice during the week and once on the weekend but unfortunately that has not always happened. Training is going well and I feel good about where my legs are right now but I still need to get a few more long rides on the saddle prior to DV. I have participated in two events during this training season, the 67 mile Knoxville Tour de Cure to benefit the American Diabetes Association and the 50 mile Bike Ride Across Wilson County as part of the 2010 Wilson, TN County Fair!

Please stay tuned for more frequent updates on the blog and for the big fundraising challenge set to start next Thursday, the 16th of September. Until then, thanks for your support, help me spread the word about the Ride, and Go Vols against the Ducks of Oregon this Saturday!

Monday, August 16, 2010

BRAWC Finished!

For those not from Tennessee, Wilson County is the county directly adjacent to Nashville in Middle Tennessee. The Bike Ride Across Wilson County is an event with a couple of hundred riders as part of the annual Wilson County Fair. Big time! A friend of ours who now lives in Nashville, Brian, and I did the ride together. He is also the one who came up to Knoxville for the ADA Tour de Cure back in June. We had a good ride and did all 50 miles in just under 3.5 hours. I think I was probably holding Brian back from his full potential but that is a pretty fast pace for me. The hills were classified as "rolling" but the only rolling that I wanted to do on a few of the "rolling hills" was quit pedaling and roll backwards! However, we did finish!

At the finish, we had an awesome cheering section with Jessica, my Mom, Dad, and two sisters, as well as Jessica's Mom and Dad. It was great to have them all there for us as we entered back into the Wilson County Fairgrounds with temperatures pushing 97. The ice cold towels at the finish line sure hit the spot. A few photos are below from the day's event. Thanks to our family who came out to support us and to Brian for doing another ride with me. I am entering the two month mark before the big kahuna in Death Valley on October 16th.

...still collecting ride donations. Give today, HERE! Thank you for your support!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Month After Next

We can now officially say that "month after next" will be the second run of the Ride to Cure Diabetes for The Shafer Ten Year team. For anyone interested, you can click on the photo to the left for the full album of photos from the Ride's first stop of this year in Burlington, Vermont. Back in July, Riders descended on Burlington for a weekend of riding, all for a great cause!

I am still in the process of training and amidst the heat; I was able to get two good rides in this weekend. I did a short ride Friday after work and then a longer ride early evening tonight. The heat is killer and the humidity is killer's accomplice but I guess I better get ready for the heat that is waiting for us in Death Valley! I feel good about where I am fitness wise and my legs are finally getting in shape. A little cross training may be a good thing for me so if anyone has grand suggestions for weights or other training that could benefit cyclists please let me know!

A couple of weeks ago I sent out my annual appeal letter to friends and family. I also posted this letter on the blog (
July 20th). If you have not already done so, please consider a gift to our team! I am constantly reminded of the need for a cure and with each passing day more and more people around the world are diagnosed with this dreaded obstacle in life, diabetes!

I hope that everyone has a great start to the week and if you find yourself in Knoxville, please let me know. I would love to ride!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Fundraising Begins Today

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Dear Family and Friends:

One year ago, it was with much anticipation that Jessica and I participated in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s Ride to Cure Diabetes event for the first time. This experience is one that many told us would change our lives and our outlook on diabetes and the hope for a cure. After participating in the experience in June 2009 for the first time, our prior conceptions of the event coupled with our deep desire for a cure combined to produce a feeling of accomplishment and a reinvigorated hope for that cure! The whole ride weekend helped us realize that this hope for a cure extended far beyond our own family.

We had a wonderful experience in 2009 and thanks to your generous support we were able to raise almost $9,000 that was directly deposited into JDRF’s account for a cure. The research that is being funded by JDRF is some of the most innovative in the world and in 2009 over $101 million were contributed directly to research initiatives. However, if a cure is not found by 2025, it is estimated that over 380 million people worldwide will be faced with diabetes.

For its second consecutive year, The Shafer Ten Year Team continues its quest for a cure by participating in the Ride to Cure Diabetes. I will be riding while Jessica will be volunteering at the event this year. We will be participating in the Death Valley, CA event on Saturday, October 16th. The 105 mile route will wind through hot Death Valley National Park just east of the California/Nevada state line.

Once again, we are writing to ask your support for a cure by contributing to our fundraising efforts for the 2010 Ride to Cure Diabetes. Your gift goes directly to research and does not cover any travel related costs for the event. Donations can be made by cash, check, or online transaction. Online gifts are quick, simple, and secure and a link to the
online donation site can be found on our 2010 blog at http://shafer2010.blogspot.com. Checks should be made out to JDRF and can be mailed to our home address.

Just as it was last year, our team name is
The Shafer Ten Year Team. When I was diagnosed with diabetes in 1998, I was told that a cure for the disease would be found within 10 years. Now, going on 12 years later, there is still not a cure. Here we are in year two of our ten year team. I am going to do the training, sweating, pedaling, and fighting on the road. All that I ask is that you consider a gift to our cause!

No matter the size, please know that every gift, big or small, makes a significant impact in our fight. Whether you can make a cash contribution or not, please keep us in your thoughts and prayers during training and the actual ride event on Saturday, October 16th.

I am very thankful for each of you and your support, you are the Type III Diabetics in my life and for details on what that means you can visit our blog’s
May 24th entry. Additionally, you can follow our progress over the next several months via the blog or on Twitter. Thank you for your support both financially and morally during this entire process. We are The Shafer Ten Year Team, riding again in 2010!


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Twelve Week Training

This week marks 13 weeks before the big ride in Death Valley on October 16th. Training has been ongoing but has been slower over the last few weeks, hence the little to no posting. However, beginning next week, we'll be updating often with facts, figures, anecdotes, and more training information than you'll ever want. Until then, enjoy the Tour de France 2010!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Riding for a Cure

Saturday marked the first day of 2010 that I actually had a ride that truly pushed me to the limit. My legs burned on many prior rides this year but it was not until Saturday, when temperatures reached well over 90 and mileage reached far beyond 50 that I started feeling it. The ADA Knoxville Tour de Cure took off from the HT Hackney Company in Knoxville earlier Saturday morning. We arrived and got registered by 7:00am and then the ride took off at about 7:30. Just before 1:00pm we pulled back into the parking lot at HT Hackney with 67 additional miles on the bike. A good friend from Nashville, Brian, came over to Knoxville for the ride as well. We had a good time along the route and met several greats folks from all of over Tennessee along the way. Jessica was cheering and taking photos as we turned the corner at the finish line and I could not have been more glad to see her smiling as we made it in. Around the 46 mile mark I was not sure I could do another 20+ miles but I got a third wind (the second wind came earlier in the ride) and pushed on through.

The ride events make it all the more worthwhile to train on days when riding a bike just does not sound like alot of fun. Saturday was fun! The most important part of the day was a reminder that the 400+ riders and all of their supporters, family, friends, and type IIIs were out there for one reason....to support our cause for a cure!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Tour de Cure on Saturday

I will be riding in the American Diabetes Associations Tour de Cure event this Saturday, here in Knoxville! This event is a great training practice run for the big hoorah coming up October 16th in Death Valley. While I don't do a big fundraising campaign for this event, I do try to raise a few dollars to support the ADA and their great local East Tennessee event. Most of my fundraising efforts are spent working towards my goals in the JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes but if you have the means and/or the interest, donations are appreciated!

I have not been riding as much as I should be so we'll see how Saturday goes....at least they have great SAG wagons, support, and break stops!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Cycling Is International

Riding on the cyclopista in Mexico is muy bien. Cycling, as we learned last year in Germany, is certainly an international sport. Unlike futbol, however, it is same across the world! Jessica and I got a good ride in during our vacation as we traveled from our hotel just a few miles down the road to the beach of Playa Linda. I was a bit out of place without my speedo on but I felt just fine. It was the perfect ride for a vacation, just 4-5 km round trip...not even 3 miles...muy bien!

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Type IIIs In Life

Throughout this year, in the short time that I have been training in 2010, I have not yet mentioned those "Type IIIs" in my life. Nicole Johnson, Miss America 1999, refers to those that support, love, and encourage diabetics around the world as "Type III Diabetics." For those that may not know, Type I diabetes is what is referred to as "insulin dependent diabetes," (what I have) and Type II diabetes is non-insulin dependent diabetes. Therefore, Type III occurs when you have friends, family, and other loved ones who depend on you for support in their day to day diabetes care.

I am fortunate to have many type IIIs in my life that include my parents, friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, and others who have had an impact on my life during the last 12 years since being diagnosed. However, I would be remiss if I did not give special mention to my wife, Jessica, who is always supportive of me and my diabetes care. She is certainly the reason that I even participate in the Ride to Cure Diabetes since she is one who truly encouraged us to participate in the event for the first time in 2009. As I mentioned in the final blog last year, she even won the spirit jersey in the '09 Sonoma Ride because of her dedication to me and the fight for a cure. Spouses and partners are arguably the most important piece of any diabetic's daily care and I am fortunate to have a wife who puts my diabetes care at the top of her priorities. She shows me greater love through this than anyone could ever replicate!

Another Type III that I need to mention is our Yorkie, Cooper. Now this may sound a little crazy, but when I am asleep at night, if I do not wake up while going low (when blood sugar dips below 80 due to too much insulin, lots of exercise, etc.), Cooper wakes up and in-turn wakes me up. This phenomenon has happened more than once over the last 2-3 years, in fact, I would say that it happens almost monthly. I mentioned this to my endocrinologist at a recent visit and she in fact confirmed that I am not crazy and that this is a sense that dogs can develop after living with someone with diabetes for so long. Another factor could be that when I am low and it is 3:00am, I eat like it is my last meal and that meal usually includes peanut butter and crackers. Cooper loves peanut butter and crackers so he may have ulterior motives when he wakes me up as well! He is currently training our newest canine family addition, Stella, so that she can hone her own low blood sugar identification skills.

I could go on and one but without making a long list I do want to thank everyone who has ever asked me about my diabetes, financially contributed to one of our many fundraisers, or supported any other diabetic in any way. Diabetes can be a lonely journey and it is you, our Type IIIs, that keep us going day after day. Thank you.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Thumbs Up

I had a great ride this morning through our neighborhood and downtown Knoxville. With my first ride "event" of the year coming up on June 5th at the ADA Tour de Cure, I knew that I needed to get a good long ride under my belt. My plan was to hit the 30 mile mark today and I successfully shattered that goal by reaching 30.2 miles in 2:02 hours. I was certainly pleased with this ride and felt good afterwards. By the end of the ride it was high noon and temperatures were approaching 90 degrees. Needless to say, it was hot, but not as hot as Death Valley, CA will be on October 16!

During my ride today, I headed towards the UT Campus and the banks of the Tennessee River. For those that know Knoxville, I was on Neyland Drive heading east towards downtown and Calhoun's. Minding my own business, in my oh-so-fashionable spandex bike shorts, a mid-90's Plymouth Grand Voyager started tailing me pretty close. This was THE van 10-15 years ago, as many of you know. The model that was tailing me today seemed to be in pretty good shape, had tented windows, and in need of a paint job for the superior silver finish. After a half a mile or so, I started wondering if this person was intentionally on my tail or not. She eventually pulled over into the left lane and passed me, throwing up a big "thumbs up" as she passed. I am still not sure if she was intrigued by my Ride to Cure Diabetes jersey or the spandex. Either way, hopefully she realized that I am just one person out there fighting for a cure and hopefully that was really a thumb and not a middle finger!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Wet Ride!

I set out for a nice long ride on Sunday afternoon but was cut short with the lighting and downpour that ensued shortly after beginning the ride! I suppose that on one level it is all about the effort but hey, I need to get some miles on those new wheels and hours in the saddle. Depending on how my rides over the next couple of weeks go, I am supposed to be riding in the American Diabetes Association's Tour de Cure in Knoxville on Saturday, June 5th. They have 25, 62, and 100 mile routes...100 is definitely out of the question but at this point I am hoping that I can muscle through the 62 mile metric century. This would be a great start to my long summer of training. Will keep you posted!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Slowly but Surely

I am slowly but surely getting back into training for 2010. This year it has been tougher to get regular rides in than it was last year. I am hoping that this slowness is simply a factor of rusty wheels and that once I get going I will be on a more regular schedule.

On June 5th I plan on doing the American Diabetes Association's Tour de Cure event in Knoxville. This looming event is giving me some motivation to get going on training as I hope to do the 62 mile metric century ride on the 5th. I think that part of the reason my training is going slow so far is because the JDRF Ride in Death Valley is not until October and I know that I have "plenty" of time to train. Nonetheless, it is time to get in gear and get miles on the tires and time in the saddle.

Thanks for everyones support thus far and I will try to update the blog with more interesting information, more often!

Oh, one more note of interest. If you are in Knoxville, please join us this Saturday for the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes in downtown Knoxville. Registration begins at 8:30am in World's Fair Park.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

40 Years: Is a cure close?

Forty years ago this year, the parents of children with diabetes formed what is now the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Since the organization's founding in 1970, over $1.4 billion has been raised to support the quest for a cure to diabetes and its complications. This year marks an awkward milestone for JDRF, the 40 year anniversary "celebration." However, what is there really to celebrate? JDRF, as they say, is "in business to put themselves out of business." Since the lights at the JDRF home office in New York City and in the 100+ chapters and branches nationwide are still on, they clearly have more work to do. Details about what has been accomplished and the plans that JDRF has in this, its 40th year.
The irony of this year being the 40th Anniversary of JDRF's founding is that the name of our ride team is "The Shafer Ten Year Team." As I explained last year, we named the team in this way because when I was diagnosed on October 23, 1998, I was told that a cure would likely be found within the next 10 years. Obviously, 12 years later, there is still no cure yet. That is why the Ride to Cure Diabetes and JDRF still exist.

Since I was diagnosed, I have taken what seems like endless shots, tested my blood sugar constantly at all hours of the day and night, and carefully managed food and exercise. However, I am able to take care of myself. The individuals who could really use a cure are the extremely young and the extremely elderly. I do well to take care of myself, but could you imagine managing diabetes for a 16 month old? I'd like to share several numbers of note that may help illustrate the life of any diabetic, not just myself.

  • Diagnosed for nearly 139 months, roughly 4,170 days.
  • Test blood sugar approximately 25,350 times.
  • Used over 209,000 units of insulin totaling over 209 vials (roughly $100 each)
Diabetes care and supplies are a big business. This is why we ride, to raise money to find a cure so that the millions worldwide no longer have to endure. After 40 years, JDRF has made great strides towards a cure, but we are not there yet.

Your support of our team is appreciated! If you can donate, great, but if not, please know that your thoughts and prayers are needed for our quest to find this cure.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Its All About The Bottom Line

Riding for the Cure is all about the bottom line, raising funds to support research to find a cure for diabetes! Training for the Ride to Cure Diabetes is something that can be tough from time to time. However, before I get into the thick of training for 2010, I wanted to be sure I was up on the latest diabetes statistics.

Upon completion of very scientific research (compliments of Google, sorry bing), I learned about a few interesting stats that I'd like to share briefly.

- The US is currently #3 in the world for diabetes prevalence with an estimate 26.8. million. India and China are #1 and #2 with 50.8 and 43.2 million cases, respectively.

- If a cure is not found by 2030, diabetes cases will increase to at least 36 million in the US alone.

- Well over 200,000 people die annually in the US due to diabetes and its complications. The CDC reports that in 2000 diabetes was the 6th leading cause of death in US.

There are also a few misconceptions about diabetes that I wanted to dispel.

- Type 1 diabetes is caused by a complete ceasing of insulin production in ones pancreas. In a type 1 diabetic (like myself), the pancreas completely quits working and therefore it is necessary to take insulin from another source (shots, insulin pump, etc.). Type 1 diabetes is not preventable.

- Type 2 diabetes is when someones pancreas is still producing some insulin but their body is simply not able to process the insulin correctly any longer. The #1 cause of type 2 diabetes is obesity and type 2 is the most common type of diabetes in the world today. Type 2 is sometimes, but not always, preventable.

- In some cases, both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes is linked to genetics. However, in many cases, there is not any genetic link (for instance, there is not any known diabetes in any of my immediate family).

* Most stats noted are per the IDF, International Diabetes Federation. The misconceptions noted above are from a number of sources.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

JDRF 2010 Ride Video

Learn more about the Ride to Cure Diabetes and the 2010 effort by watching the short video below!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The First Ride

Welcome to the 2010 edition of the The Shafer Ten Year Team blog!

Last year was the first time that we participated in JDRF's Ride to Cure Diabetes event. It was a great experience and with your support, we raised almost $9,000 for diabetes research to help find a cure for the devastating disease as well as its complications. When we set out to train and fundraise for the 2009 event, we did not know how great the experience would truly be. Throughout the training we learned about the physical demands caused by cycling. Throughout the fundraising we learned about the generosity of our family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and the community. Finally, throughout the "Ride Weekend" in Sonoma, we were reminded that we are not alone in our fight for a cure. The whole experience was certainly life changing in several ways and now we are poised to do it all over again in 2010.

I will be riding in Death Valley, CA on October 16th in what is JDRF's most popular ride destination. Death Valley was also the first location to ever host a Ride to Cure Diabetes event over a decade ago. Jessica and I will be training and fundraising together and this year's goal is $3,000. At the event this year, Jessica will be volunteering and I will be shooting to finish the 105 mile route in the hot California desert!

Please, join us again on the journey as we continue to fight for a cure for diabetes and its complications through the support of research. If you are not familiar with our ride experience from 2009, you can visit last year's blog at
http://10yearcure.blogspot.com/. Of course, you will be able to find out the latest with our progress for this year by visiting this site often and by following us on twitter at http://twitter.com/aashafer.

Stay tuned for more information and thank you in advance for your support!

- Andrew