When the Covid-19 pandemic forced fall fundraising events to be canceled around the world, Neil Sprackling didn’t back down from the challenge.
An avid endurance athlete and rider for JDRF, Neil originally planned to participate in back to back events this Fall –the Berlin Marathon on September 27th and the Amelia Island 100-mile JDRF Ride the following weekend – to help raise critical funds for JDRF and T1D research.
In honor of his lifelong friend’s daughter, Zoe Edmonds, who has been the driving force behind his fundraising for JDRF, Neil has now embarked on his own “20 in 20” challenge: running ten half marathons and ten 40-mile bike rides between Memorial Day Weekend and Thanksgiving.
Neil’s involvement with JDRF began in 2017, after Zoe’s diagnosis the year before. Having previously participated in several marathons and corporate triathlons for various charities, he felt compelled by Zoe’s story to do the same for JDRF. That year, along with Zoe’s father Richard, and a recruited friend from England, he took part in the JDRF Tucson Ride. “When I did my first JDRF ride, I stayed at the “JDRF” hotel and mixed with all the families impacted directly by T1D. It’s just incredible the emotion around the whole thing,” Neil said. He has participated every year since.
When asked what is most rewarding to him about participating in these events, Neil shared that it’s the direct impact he feels he’s making through his fundraising efforts, especially as he watches Zoe grow up and learn to manage her T1D. “I get to see firsthand the benefits of all the research, new devices and control measures that people like Zoe can enjoy from everyone’s fundraising efforts,” he explained.
Working in the insurance industry, specifically health and life insurance, also allows him to see the benefits of JDRF’s work. Neil relies on many of these connections to help him in his fundraising efforts, and he has even found some unlikely people who have donated that also have a connection to T1D. These are the types of things, he says, that help motivate him to do as much as he can and continue to do more year after year.
While this year may have looked different, Neil’s drive and dedication to JDRF’s mission hasn’t changed. To date, Neil has completed all his planned rides, and 5 out of 10 half marathons, raising more than $19,000 towards his $25,000 goal! And he won’t stop there! Neil plans to continue supporting JDRF and all of those living with T1D, through either the Sonoma ride next October or with a new challenge in its place.
Please join us in congratulating Neil on his incredible efforts thus far and wishing him luck as he wraps up his “20 in 20” Challenge!
You can learn more about Neil and his story HERE.