Why I Ride – Two families build a team to take on La Crosse

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The 2020 JDRF Ride season is here! Join the Southeastern Wisconsin Chapter’s team for a JDRF Ride for a truly memorable, life-changing experience on our shared vision of a world without T1D. ride.jdrf.org.

In this blog post, we meet Kent & Ella Bindl and Louie & Jack Gentine who, along with a team of their family & friends, participated in their first Ride in La Crosse in 2019. They assembled a team of 9 riders and raised an incredible over $108,000 for T1D research! Here’s there story:

Kent & Ella Bindl

JDRF: What is your connection to JDRF?

Kent: I’m Kent Bindl and my daughter Ella was diagnosed with T1D 4 years ago. Like all those affected with type 1 she has endured thousands of needle pricks, days when her blood sugar just can’t be regulated very well at all, and several close calls when we thought she might need to go into the hospital.  Thanks to her determination and the advances that have occurred thanks to research funded by JDRF, Ella refuses to let this disease slow her down. 

Louie & Jack Gentine

Louie: My name is Louie Gentine and my son Jack was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in December of 2015. That was one of the hardest days for our entire family, but for Jack it was truly a life changing moment. We had supported JDRF for many years prior to Jack’s diagnosis because we knew other families that managing through life with T1D. From our first visit to Children’s Hospital where we began to see the many benefits of JDRF and the impact that our support of JDRF has had with children and the impact it would have for our son.

JDRF: Why did you first decide to participate in Ride?

Kent: Having a daughter with Type 1 I was excited to hear about the ride from a family friend so Ella and I decided to give it a try. Neither of us had ever done a ride of longer than a few miles ever before so it seemed daunting at first. However, with the help of fellow riders we slowly worked up to the point where 100 miles seemed attainable.

Louie: My son Jack and I enjoy bike riding and we also wanted to bring more exposure to such a worthy organization. Neither of us had participated in a century ride before so it just seemed like the perfect thing to do – Accomplish a goal that we both had and generate some awareness to a very worthy organization.

JDRF: What helped you feel prepared for the Ride?

Kent: Just putting in the miles. I rode 2 to 3 times per week sometimes solo and sometimes with other riders in our group of 1st time riders. My 1st time out we rode 25 miles and I was extremely sore. Over time I worked up to 40 miles trips with a solo ride of 80 miles 10 days before the Ride which gave me a ton of confidence that I could compete the 100 mile ride.

Louie: Knowing that I was going to be riding with my son Jack, with the support of family and friends.

JDRF: What were some of your highlights throughout Ride weekend?

Kent: The entire weekend was more than we could have expected. Waiting to get started in the morning we where full of nervous energy but being surrounded by so many people sharing a common goal of defeating T1D was invigorating. The most emotional part of the ride was entire group of 8 1st time riders all finishing together. To ride in side by side with my daughter and the six other friends and family that participated in the ride was overwhelming. We shared hugs, tears, laughs, and most of all a sense of accomplishment when we all finished. The banquet that night was also very emotional. Seeing the passion that so many people share in defeating this disease was awesome.

Louie: Being surrounded by such a great community of type 1 supporters and seeing individuals accomplish something that perhaps they never thought possible. My greatest highlight however was crossing the finish line with my son Jack with our hands held tightly together.


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

Kent: The ride gave Ella and I a way to feel a part of the JDRF community. The sense of family was palpable all weekend which was very empowering. For me both during training and the ride knowing that the ultimate goal was to raise money for JDRF was an effective and powerful motivator. As a person new to distance riding, the discomfort putting in a few miles on the bike was always put into perspective when I would think about the challenges that Ella and other Type 1’s have

Louie: It is a great way for you to make a difference and to support an organization that is truly doing great things to help those that have TYPE 1 and to find a CURE for Type 1.

For more information on the JDRF Ride, please visit ride.jdrf.org or contact Erin Vella at evella@jdrf.org or 414.203.5531.