Joey’s first big event as the American Diabetes Ambassador is behind him. He surprised me as he wasn’t nervous at all at the idea of getting up in front of a lot of people. On the way to the event, he wrote his speech, using his friends Smartphone. Technology is so funny to me.
His duties included being introduced and speaking to the participants before the 50K, 25K, and the 5 mile family ride. He and Cooper were introduced by the MC of the day. Then they went up on the stage and told everyone their names, when they were diagnosed with type 1, and thanked their family and friends, and the riders for their support to find a cure for diabetes. They did a great job, in spite of the poor weather.
The day started off with rain, and it was chilly, but soon the sky opened to the sun, it warmed up and the day was great. Joey had his friend Matt along for support. They both went on the 5 mile ride, along with Joe, and Tony. Next year they want to ride in the 25k.
Not everything went as planned, which is pretty par for the course with type 1, but this time, it had nothing to do with the disease. When the ride started, Tony’s chain broke, immediately. He was on a very expensive bike that was borrowed, that had made its way across the country and back – TWICE. So as he and Joe start over to the Wheel and Sprocket tent to have the chain worked on, Joey and Matt decided to continue with the others. Now, they didn’t know any of the other riders, probably didn’t even look at any of them in the face to be familiar with them.
I was helping out in the Red Rider tent, so once they took off, I wasn’t paying much attention. About 45 minutes into the ride, I get a phone call from Joe, it goes like this: “Is Joey back yet?” Me: “NO, WHY ARE YOU ASKING ME THIS? ISN’T HE WITH YOU??”
Panic set in, but I thought, “well, he’s with Matt, they are both smart kids, they’ll be ok.” Until I hear this from Joe: “I have his bag, he asked me to carry it on my back.” ‘WHAT??” ARE YOU BLEEPING KIDDING ME? HOW DID THIS HAPPEN??” One thing my husband is great with is handling my stress level when it hits the roof. He calmly told me that he should be coming in soon, he was sitting at the turnaround, and hadn’t seen him yet. Can I please ask the traffic Marshall, she was the rider behind the group, if she saw which way Joey went.
I’m going to be honest, by this time, I’m completely freaked out. What can I do to find my child, with type 1 diabetes, that doesn’t have his bag with him, full of his fast acting sugar?? My mind went to his blood sugar being low, not having his bag, panicking.
I turned and saw Lidia from the ADA, she’s in charge of the Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes, she saw the panic in my face, and she immediately knew what to do. She got on her walkie-talkie to find the ride Marshall that went with Joey’s group. As she was doing this, here comes Joey and Matt. I was never so relieved to see him in my life. However, he didn’t have his bag, Joe had his bag. It didn’t take him and Tony long to get back, so Joey could check his blood sugar and have lunch. Lesson Learned!! That will be the last time Joey ever leaves without his bag on his back. I asked him what he would have done if he felt low, he said he would have asked another Red Rider (Rider’s with diabetes) in the group for a fast acting sugar. Okay, pretty smart idea.
So, in the end, it was a very successful day, the weather started out bad and ended up great, Joey started out great, had a hiccup, but all was well in the end.
Now Tony, that’s a totally different story…you’ll have to ask me about that in person, because it’s hilarious. I really wish Joey could have been with him to see his big brother, his idol, fall off his bike 3 times!!
The lesson is that things don’t always go as planned, but with the right support in place, the outcome can still be great.
Oh, Joey and his team have raised $3, 776.00 for the 2013 Tour de Cure, and we’re not done yet. We plan on a car wash this summer, to try to reach our goal of $4,000 for diabetes research. If you would like to help you can go to: http://main.diabetes.org/site/TR?px=6180704&pg=personal&fr_id=8638&et=Zc5EmX6CaZ2mvqgrNQzcgQ&s_tafId=443296