Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The race for the cure is on...

1 month since my last post. Geez, that makes me feel very unblogworthy :-( The problem is that every year at this time someone pushes the fast-forward button on my life. Biking season is in full swing, JDRF fund raising including our Cyclebetes ride, days get longer which usually means a later bedtime for Adele and less time for me to blog.

Now, in my defense, all of this time that I spend on my bike is in fact not only beneficial for my mental and physical health but also to accelerate the cure. Even if it appears as a lazy way to update my blog, here's the press release for our Cyclebetes 200 ride as well as the national Cyclebetes relay. Like the past 3 years, I'm really excited about the ride !

New Brunswick Dad Delivers on a Promise

Dieppe dad and avid cyclist Mike LeBlanc is delivering on a very important promise. “I am delivering a promise to my 10 year old daughter Adele who was diagnosed with type 1 (juvenile) diabetes eight years ago. I will do everything I can to help find a cure. Cyclebetes is an opportunity for me to combine two passions, cycling and supporting juvenile diabetes research. It makes me feel alive. It gives me hope. It represents taking a stand and making a difference. It enables me to meet and interact with positive do-something people. It inspires me to keep pushing. It makes me feel less alone. It empowers me and my family. I want to set an example for Adele I want her to see me throwing every bit of passion and enthusiasm I’ve got towards something so important”.

Mike is a member of the Cyclebetes MaritimeTeam and will be cycling relay style 980 kms from Halifax to the small town of Boundry at the Quebec border. For some of that time he will be riding ‘Di-Betsey’ the Cyclebetes tandem bike that symbolizes that great things are accomplished in ‘tandem’ with others. Mike is also the driving force behind the Cyclebetes 200km event in Moncton, “a lot of local riders have told me it’s the best ride of the year and the event that they most look forward to, so hopefully we can keep it going for a long time. Our ride has raised about $20,000 in 3 years. This year community riders will ride alongside the provincial riders – it’s going to be amazing.” Mike and 9 other members of the Cyclebetes Maritime Team will kick off the first leg of the National Relay on August 14 from Black Rock Beach, Pleasant Point, Halifax the relay culminates in Victoria, BC on September 5, 2010. On August 15th the Maritime Team will be travelling through New Brunswick with a stop at Mike’s Bike Shop in Dieppe where the FUN starts at 8 am with a short 1km family ride and the big 200 km ride to follow.

Type 1 diabetes affects 246 million people worldwide – most of them are children. “Living with type 1 is like being a fugitive on America's most wanted list. You can never fully relax and be at ease. You're always looking over your shoulder, living with constant apprehension, trying to make predictions as to what ‘diabetes’ next move will be and trying your best to be one step ahead of it. Type 1 diabetes is very unpredictable and sneaky so even the most vigilant eventually get caught. A cure would mean being able to be truly free again. If everyone understood how truly devastating type 1 diabetes is and in even in the smallest of ways supported efforts to help find a cure we'd surely see one in Adele's lifetime. That’s what I’m hoping for... that's my dream”, Mike emphatically adds.

Cyclebetes is the legacy of Team H2V. In 2007 Vancouver design executive Kyle Balagno made a promise to his 12 year old daughter. He vowed would do everything in his power to help find a cure for her type 1 diabetes before she graduated high school. He had 6 years and a very tall order to fill. Together with 4 friends he hatched a plan – do something big that hadn’t been done – they would cycle across Canada relay style in 9 days. The naysayers laughed and shook their heads. The 5 recreational cyclists named themselves Team H2V (Halifax to Vancouver) and began a 6 month training regime. On September 14, 2007 after dipping their tires into the water at Halifax’s Black Rock Beach they were off. Team H2V fuelled by a father’s love and determination and the support of friends faced hurricane winds, torrential rains, sub zero temperatures and the tortuous grade of the Rocky Mountains. Through it all they persevered, one rotation at a time. They did make, but not in the stated 9 days. Team H2V jubilantly arrived in 8! Team H2V raised close to one million dollars for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) and garnered a Guinness World Record. Their indomitable can do spirit and the desire to make a difference is at the heart of Cyclebetes.

Mike LeBlanc is available for interviews
Cheryl Wilson-Stewart
Cyclebetes Community Awareness Co-ordinator
Telephone: 604.538.7383
Cell: 604.833.3563