LAKEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – More than 2,000 bike riders will take part in the Colorado Tour de Cure. The ride is put on by the American Diabetes Association to raise money and awareness to stop diabetes.
Among the thousands of riders, hundreds will be wearing special red jerseys that identify them has living with diabetes. They’re called Red Riders.
Barbara Evans wears her Red Rider jersey as she trains with her husband, Rodger. She plans on riding 50 miles during Tour de Cure and raising about $2,000.
“It’s something that I can do on a personal level to feel I’m making a contribution toward finding a cure,” Evans told CBS4.
Evans was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes shortly before her 61st birthday. She has no family history, no lifestyle risk factors, and no idea how she got this disease.
“It’s changed my life dramatically, in every way possible,” Evans said.
Now she calibrates calories, logs exercise and tracks blood sugar levels.
“There’s never a vacation from diabetes. It’s with you 24/7,” she said.
Dr. Michael McDermott is the director of the Endocrinology and Diabetes Unit at the University of Colorado Hospital. The practice is ranked 34th nationally by U.S. News & World Report magazine. McDermott says that it’s not uncommon to get a Type 1 diabetes diagnosis later in life.
“I think it’s a mistake to assume, as we do with some people that, ‘Well, you’re 50 years old, you probably have Type 2 diabetes’. And I’ve seen people not properly treated,” McDermott told CBS4.
Dr. McDermott is also a regular rider at the Tour de Cure. He rides with a group of colleagues who call themselves the “Beta Cells.”
“It’s good for us to be out there health-wise, but we’ve raised a lot of money,” McDermott said.
The Colorado Tour de Cure is one of the biggest in the country. It raised more than $1 million last year, it’s also about raising community awareness around a lifelong illness.
“It can be a very frightening and lonely disease and you cannot face it alone,” Evans added.
The Colorado Tour de Cure is Saturday, Aug. 16, at the Boulder County Fairgrounds. It kicks off at 6 a.m.