Tour de Cure – June 26, 2021
Last year I wrote that there were so many changes in our world, and so many uncertainties that it was hard to count on much of anything. Maybe we’re finally to the point in this country that we may at least have Covid on the run, but much of the rest of the world still struggles. One unmet need that has remained through it all is the prevalence of diabetes in the world. If only we had that disease on the run! If anything, it probably got a boost in prominence since diabetics are at heightened risk for coronavirus complications. So, with particular urgency, I’m writing to ask all of you to help support me in the American Diabetes Association’s annual Tour de Cure.
This year will be my 14th consecutive ride, and in that time, we have raised about $55,000 for this very worthy cause. This year, the event will continue as a “virtual tour” with everyone encouraged to ride in our own small “custom events,” perhaps with a few others, with as much of the original spirit as possible, and with hopes to raise as much money as we can. My company, Pacific Plumbing Supply, has had a team every year since 2008, and I’m pleased to report that friends and business associates who have joined me in the past will ride again, each in our own way, some together, some separately. My plan this year is to ride about 45 miles locally with my wife, Janet, and several others who have ridden as a part of our team in the past.
This is a highly personal cause for me because I am a Type 2 diabetic. It runs in my family, and I was diagnosed in 2005. My father, Bill Stafford, who was insulin-dependent for about 20 years, was diagnosed and began treatment over 50 years ago. He died June 2, 2013, and in 2014, I dedicated my race in his honor.
I am continually surprised at how many people I know who have diabetes. A friend of mine has been through a particularly difficult time when her daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 10. It’s particularly rough on kids when they have to deal with the challenges of this disease on top of all the normal childhood issues. With a lot of hard work and care, they felt they were as on top of it as they could be, only to learn a few years later that her older son was also a Type 1 diabetic. Needless to say, it continues to be a very difficult transition and struggle for the whole family.
This disease has no cure, and the staggering number of people affected by diabetes today gives diabetes an extremely big and broad impact. This disease is one of the most widespread health concerns in our country and the number of people affected and the cost to society continues to increase at an alarming rate. Some facts:
- It is estimated that in 2018 10.5% of the US population (about 1 in every 10 people) had diabetes, representing about 34.2 million children and adults, including more than 7.3 million who didn’t even know it. It is estimated that every 21 seconds someone in the US is diagnosed with diabetes, amounting to 4,110 people diagnosed each day.
- Every year, over 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes. Also, in 2018, it was estimated that 88 million Americans age 18 and older had prediabetes (elevated blood sugar levels, a precursor to diabetes).
- If current trends continue, 1 in 3 children born in the year 2000 will develop diabetes in their lifetime.
In 2018, the total annual cost of diabetes to the US was estimated at $327 billion.
- Diabetes remains the 7th leading cause of death in the United States. In 2017, 83,564 death certificates listed it as the underlying cause of death and a total of 270,702 death certificates listing diabetes as an underlying or contributing cause of death.
The Tour de Cure
Held since 1991, Tour de Cure is a series of fund-raising cycling events held in over 80 cities and 40 states nationwide to benefit the American Diabetes Association. This year, due to the pandemic, all events continue as virtual rides, but with the same fund-raising focus.
Can You Help?
Over the last ten years, I have been overwhelmed by and extremely grateful for the response to my fund-raising. Many of you supported us very generously and I really appreciated it. Thanks to everyone's help, I have been one of the top individual fund-raisers each year I have participated, and our team has consistently finished in the top 10. We are hoping to raise $300,000 this year from our local event, which typically includes hundreds of riders. Nationally, Tour de Cure participants raise nearly $30 million each year to help support the mission.
Last year, our team raised over $6,000, not a record for us, but a surprising total in light of all of the pandemic challenges! This year we’re hoping to do even better, which is why I am writing to ask for your help. If this is a cause you can help with, please join with me to support this event. Truly, it is worth your time and investment. It is really quick and easy to make a contribution (tax-deductible of course). Just click on the "Donate to Me" button above this message.
Thank you very much for your help!