Why I Ride – Father’s determination to cure T1D for his wife & son

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JDRF Ride to Cure season is upon us once again and registration is open!  In this blog post, we meet Scott Pedretti who took on his first JDRF Ride in 2019 and is determined to ride until there is a cure! Join them & the Southeastern Wisconsin Team on 2020 on a JDRF Ride for a truly memorable, life-changing experience on our shared vision of a world without T1D. ride.jdrf.org.

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What is your connection to JDRF?

My wife, Katie and my son, Audric both have T1D.  I first heard about JDRF when Audric was diagnosed at age 5. The diagnosis hit my family hard knowing what Katie had gone through with managing her own T1D since the time she was diagnosed at age 11. We knew it would be a big challenge for us to get Audric’s blood glucose under control and to later teach him to manage his T1D on his own. I first heard about JDRF RIDE when Katie and I organized a JDRF raffle fundraiser event and again at the 2018 TypeOneNation Summit in Milwaukee. Fundraising through raffles/walks/runs has been the norm in today’s society but riding struck me as a unique challenge that I needed to take part of!

Why did you first decide to participate in Ride? 

Just before the 2018 TypeOneNation Summit in Milwaukee a family member had passed away. He was an avid bike rider and when I learned more about the JDRF Ride, it became my personal mission to ride his bike in La Crosse for our family to help raise money for a T1D cure. My La Crosse Ride became a ride for our family that I would never forget.

What helped you feel prepared for the Ride?

Preparing for the ride was easier than I expected with help of the JDRF coaches! The coaches have an amazing wealth of knowledge and I enjoyed learning and riding with them on a weekly basis. I rarely road a bike before. When I did ride, it was on a mountain bike around my neighborhood. A mile here and there. The rides with the coaches were usually 25 or less miles and gave me a good introduction into training for the La Crosse ride. Every question I asked was answered professionally and with respect.  After the first training ride I was confident that if I stuck with the training offered by the coaches, I would be successful at the La Crosse ride.

What were some of your highlights throughout Ride weekend?

The most amazing moment of La Crosse Ride weekend was when I rounded the last corner and saw Katie and Audric waiting for me to cross the finish line. I crossed that finish line, looked to my left and there was Audric running to meet me. He gave me the biggest hug ever and a feeling of euphoria rushed through me that I will never forget.

Another highlight of my ride weekend were the volunteers at the rest stops and the support and gear (SAG) vehicle volunteers that helped change flats, etc. I was forewarned that the JDRF volunteers do an excellent job at the rest stops but I was still taken aback when I witnessed it for myself. A rider could not ask for anything more. The rest stops were incredible, and words cannot describe the amount of positive attention a rider got from the volunteers. When I got a flat at mile 95, it was less than 5 minutes before a SAG vehicle volunteer came to assist.

Why would you encourage others to join the Ride to Cure Diabetes?

I encourage others to join the Ride to Cure Diabetes because it was likely one of the most sublime accomplishments of my life and it very well could be for anybody who wants to make a difference in other people’s lives or even their own. There is nothing more satisfying than setting a goal and achieving it. The sense of accomplishment when crossing that finish line knowing that all my hard work paid off is like no other feeling that I have ever experienced. I will never stop riding for a cure.

For more information, contact Erin Vella at 414.203.5531 or evella@jdrf.org.