Like most of us, I had exciting plans for 2020 including my fourth JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes since my first ride five years ago in support of my daughter, Katie Isbell. Katie was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D) 11 years ago. She is managing T1D wonderfully and recently graduated from Northeastern University and has plans to attend Law School.
And then along came the COVID-19 global pandemic.
The JDRF Ride in Saratoga Springs, NY I was planning to participate in was replaced with the 2020 JDRF “My Ride”. Instead of all of us meeting up and riding in one location, we planned our own rides individually, while still raising funds for the JDRF Greater New England Chapter. My daughter Katie does not get a break from T1D, so neither do I! I started my training in late winter, and to date have ridden over 2,200 miles (the equivalent of halfway across the United States) and climbed an elevation of 40,000 feet (which is significantly higher than Mount Everest). And I am only getting started!
I completed my own JDRF My Ride last Saturday, September 26. It was a beautiful day, but unlike in years past, this year I rode alone. I was grateful to my sons Brian and Scott who provided logistical help along the way and were there to cheer for me at the finish. My ride started in Acton on the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail, went through the hills of Carlisle and to Bedford and finally on to the Minuteman Bikeway. I continued past Alewife and turned around once I reached Fresh Pond in Cambridge, and rode back through Bedford, Carlisle, Westford, and Chelmsford finally finishing my ride in Acton. Through the course of the day, I covered just over 100 kilometers or 65 miles. This was my second “metric century”, matching the distance of my JDRF Saratoga Springs ride in 2017. And to make it very cool my son Brian had his drone in the air and filmed an aerial view of my finish!
I ride to raise money for T1D research so that someday, Katie, and many others, will live in an era of “Type NONE”.
-Fred M. Isbell
To donate to Fred’s JDRF My Ride please visit: www2.jdrf.org/site/TR?fr_id=8090&pg=personal&px=11685840