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May 5, 2010

Why I am riding the Tour de Cure for American Diabetes Association

I am riding to help people. Helping people is a huge part of who I am. Anyone who really knows who I am, has seen parts of my dedication and willingness to give up my entire life for other people.
It really started for me with nearly a decade of being a Scout Leader. Scouting is an entirely volunteer-run program where the parents, relatives and scouts learn leadership and an attitude of 'can-do.' My experiences in scouting taught me a valuable lesson about who I am.
I am a person who gives time and energy to other people. I volunteer to help other people re-roof their houses, I volunteer to help people move, before they even ask. I listen to people talk and what they are really saying and find a way to give of myself. In a few weeks I am taking a (formerly) chronic homeless friend on a 2-day bike tour. Because it's something that excites him and helps him have a happier life.
About a month ago, I volunteered at a MDA event because I wanted to help, and get to know an old high-school classmate, whom I had not seen in over 20 years. And I wanted to learn more about the disease that is wreaking havoc on her two boys. It was a great event that raised a lot of money for MDA.
While volunteering there, I met the executive director of the Minnesota American Diabetes Association, who had her whole staff volunteering at the MDA event. It was inspiring to see this level of learning and participation in another organization's events. ADA is having a fundraiser in the same location this weekend, which I can't attend, but I did say I'd try to find a way to help.
Diabetes is a cause that is near to my heart. My mother-in-law had diabetes and I saw the devastating complications and constant hassle that comes with managing daily life with this disease. My wife also has Diabetes. It was not easy for her to accept this and know that it will eventually kill her. I look at all the diseases in our world and think, I can give my time and energy to at least doing something to help find a cure. I know from my Scouting experiences, that nothing happens without time and energy put in by real people who give of themselves. One person does not make everything happen.
So on June 5th I'll be riding in the ADA Tour de Cure bicycle ride and I'm raising funds to help this great cause; stopping diabetes. I'd like to see them find the reason we stop producing insulin naturally. I'd like to see future generations not have to go through this failure of bodily functions.
This is my first American Diabetes Association fundraising event - The riders all have to raise money in order to participate. The minimum is $150.00. So I know this is not your standard, pay-an-entry-fee ride. These riders are committing to help fund ADA and their research and other programs. Given who I am, I decided that I'd like to volunteer to help ADA in this event. I have bike mechanic skills and they needed people to ride the course and help the other riders who have trouble with their bikes. I can do that. That's a double whammy for me! I get to help a great cause and other people. And I decided that since all of the riders were raising money to help stop Diabetes, I decided that I could commit to raising money too. It's not going to be easy since I just signed up and I have less than a month to raise the money, but I'm going to try. My goal is $500.00. I already have $75.00, so I'm well on my way. And I contributed part of that from my own money because I believe it's worth it.
If each person that reads this donates any amount, It will help me reach my goal, and help stop Diabetes. If you choose to donate, and I hope you will, You'll be riding along side of me on June 5th. And if you are participating in this event yourself, let me know!
Here is a quick link to my fundraising page. The American Diabetes Association has set up great online-utility for donations. I'm totally excited to be donating my time, energy and money to ADA!
http://main.diabetes.org/goto/johncarlson

Posted by carl1236 at May 5, 2010 7:22 AM

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