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Small Riders Make Big Impact At Tour De Cure

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LONGMONT, Colo. (CBS4) – Thousands of riders are getting a well-deserved break after the Tour de Cure. The bike ride started and ended at the Boulder County Fairgrounds and raises money for diabetes research and programs.

Even some of the smallest riders made a very big impact. Sophia Steven, 9, pulled double duty. Not only did she get the crowd of 2,100 pumped, Sophie also rode in the Tour de Cure. Like many at the ride in Longmont, Sophie has diabetes. In fact, in a sea of riders, those living with the disease can be quickly spotted. They’re the riders in red.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Sophie has had the disease for as long as she can remember. She was diagnosed when she was 2 years old.

“Even though I have it, it doesn’t stop me from doing the things like soccer, softball and going to birthday parties,” Sophie said.

Sophie says for the most part she’s like any other 9-year-old girl, but she does admit — for her and others like her — some days can be a challenge.

“It’s not very fun sometimes because one time I was really high and I had to get a big shot,” 8-year-old diabetic Ryan Mkgee said.

PHOTO GALLERY: Tour De Cure

Ryan was diagnosed when he was just a year old. Riders like Tim Alberts say it’s young survivors like Ryan and Sophie that keep him coming back and fundraising year after year.

“One year I met a kid who was diagnosed and wasn’t even a year old. It broke my heart and every time I think about it, it breaks my heart,” Alberts said.

Riders say they’re confident they’re getting closer to wiping out the disease. Until then Sophie says it’s not slowing her down. She has soccer, soft ball and piano lessons.

The local chapter of the American Diabetes Association raised at least $1 million. All money will stay local. It will help fund diabetes research as well as programs and services for those who have the disease.

LINK: American Diabetes AssociationTour De Cure

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