This October, I rode 103 miles in Death Valley with the amazing JDRF community. I raised $4,175 for Type 1 Diabetes–the first fundraising I’ve ever done in my 44 years of age. I rode with some amazing people–T1 Diabetics and the people who love them. The incredibly supportive community that we experienced in Death Valley has committed us to this organization and its members for life.
My wife Brittney was diagnosed with T1D when she was 3 years old. When I first got to know her, I discovered she was one of the strongest, most resilient people I’d ever met. Experiencing first hand what it takes to manage T1D, I not only learned a great deal about the disease, but what it takes to overcome its daily challenges.
I encouraged and assisted Brittney to get on an insulin pump, especially because we were planning our first child. We now have two very healthy girls, and although the pregnancy and childbirth were difficult and scary, we didn’t let T1D stop us.
Early this year, I learned about the RIDE program and got very excited. Not only could I ride my bike 100 miles in a beautiful remote locale, but I could talk to people about why it is so important to contribute to an amazing organization like JDRF. And maybe more importantly, I could use the experience to provide education about the disease and it’s impact on day to day life for the individuals and their families. There is so much confusion about the difference between T1 and T2 Diabetes, even with some of the most educated people, and I have a great deal of passion to “re-educate” my friends, colleagues, and family on this very unique disease.
Brittney volunteered at the Death Valley RIDE event while I rode. We both met dozens of people, shared many laughs, emotional connections, and general camaraderie. It also brought us closer together. According to Brittney, this was the most romantic thing I’ve ever done–she feels loved, supported and understood more than ever before.
I’m looking forward to signing up for next year’s Death Valley ride and Brittney says she may try riding next time as well, which would be a huge accomplishment for her, no matter how many miles she ends up riding.
We are thankful to the JDRF family–its employees, volunteers, and all the incredible participants. We had a really special experience and look forward to many more years volunteering, fundraising and participating in JDRF’s events. I want my 10-ride award jersey!
Robin and Brittney Bouc