DENVER (CBS4)– Colorado Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia manages a high-profile position while managing his diabetes. It’s something more than 300,000 Coloradans are living with today.
He admits it’s a juggling act managing type 1 diabetes with his busy schedule that has him on the go. On any given day he will make an appearance at special events, meet with teachers, students and parents during school visits, deliver speeches and head to the state Capitol to lobby legislation.
“There are times when I just do not feel right. I need to stop and eat something or I need to stop and check my blood sugar and take an extra dose of insulin,” said Garcia.
Garcia was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes 27 years ago. It was a diagnosis he didn’t see coming.
“I was shocked. I didn’t know anyone who had diabetes. It wasn’t in my family as far as I knew. I really didn’t know anything ab out it until I was diagnosed,” said Garcia.
Now he checks his blood sugar about four times a day and wears an insulin pump.
“It doesn’t keep me from doing anything. It’s just one more thing to think about,” said Garcia.
He said exercise is key for him; he runs, bikes, snowboards, plays basketball and lifts weights. But that’s not all.
“Diet is important but I have a notoriously bad diet even for the healthiest person,” said Garcia. “I eat terrible food.”
Garcia’s wife, Claire, said the most challenging part of helping him manage his diabetes is being helpful to her husband without hovering and trying to find that balance.
It was no surprise when he agreed to be the honorary chairman for the American Diabetes Bike Ride Tour de Cure.
“I realized there are over 300,000 people in Colorado who deal with diabetes everyday and if I can help to raise awareness and raise money then I should be doing that,” said Garcia.
He hopes that money and research will one day lead to a cure.
Garcia says diabetes holds life lessons we can all learn from, “You learn to do what everybody should be doing: watching your diet, exercising, trying to eat and sleep and exercise on some kind of consistent basis.”
This year’s Tour de Cure is Saturday, Aug. 16 at the Boulder County Fairgrounds.
LINK: Tour de Cure Colorado