Ride Revolutionaries

Meet Rob Image

Meet Rob

I’m Rob, and my son Jackson was diagnosed with T1D in January 2010, when he was seven years old. One of the biggest challenges my wife and I face as parents is working to ensure that Jackson’s blood glucose numbers stay in range as he goes through his many daily activities. There is always the immediate concern of our son having highs and lows, especially when we, as parents, cannot always be around to provide guidance and help. In the early days especially it was a constant challenge.

We are a very active family – we all do martial arts and also have a passion for running and adventure.  We cycle for fun normally and really enjoy the JDRF Revolution Ride to Defeat Diabetes because of the friendly competition on our team and the incredible energy the whole day brings out. We’ve been participating in the Mississauga, Ontario, Ride every year since 2012 and we absolutely love it. Each year we have a whole team of martial artists who wear a traditional karate uniform called a “gi” when we ride.

From all of us touched personally by T1D, thank you so much to all of the amazing and generous people that participate in, sponsor, or donate to, the Ride, and a special thank you to JDRF staff and volunteers for making such a wonderful event possible.

Meet Jessica Image

Meet Jessica

Jessica, who is a CA, CPA and currently a manager at a financial institution in Toronto, knows the challenges of dealing with T1D in the workplace. She occasionally deals with situations where her blood sugar is low at work, which can happen at any time, including right before an important meeting. It’s not a feeling she relishes.

“If your blood sugar gets low enough, you feel like you’re not in control, your heart races, you can’t focus, and you might not be speaking properly,” she explains. “If you don’t get a sugar source soon enough, you could go into a diabetic coma. It can feel panicky, and it can be a critical situation – I need to stop everything and get some juice into me right away.”

Fortunately, Jessica’s colleagues know about her T1D and are very supportive. If a low happens before a meeting, for example, and she doesn’t have a juice box handy, she just tells them she needs to go back to her desk for a few minutes.

“They hold the meeting off for a bit; everyone is really understanding,” she says. She’s also instructed her co-workers about calling an ambulance if she ever passes out during a low – fortunately that’s never happened.

She has been riding for the JDRF Revolution Ride to Defeat Diabetes, presented by Sun Life Financial, for seven years, each year joining work colleagues raising funds on Ride teams.

“I think it’s pretty cool that people in my workplace are supporting others like me with T1D,” Jessica says. “It’s a great cause. I ride for myself and for all of the other people who have T1D, especially children.” 

Meet Lorne Image

Meet Lorne

Lorne has been a member of the JDRF family his entire life; his parents, Helaine and Allan, helped establish JDRF Canada back in 1974 shortly after Lorne was diagnosed with T1D. He is the JDRF Canada Chair of the Board, a proud father, and a true T1D champion. This year, he is gearing up once again to take part in JDRF’s US Rides.

Meet Sarah Image

Meet Sarah

I’m Sarah and I was diagnosed with T1D just over three years ago at 10 years old. Besides the fact that living with T1D will always limit me, I never let it stop me. I can do anything that a person without T1D can do, as long as I am aware of my blood sugar levels. I can do whatever I like to as long as I'm responsible.

Life with diabetes is a daily fight for my life. It's always constant decisions on what is the right choice in certain matters. “What's the correct choice?” “Do I want it or do I need it?” “What's the insulin ratio for this?” My brain is always on a constant run with no stopping, just so I can be the healthiest and safest possible.

Meet Barbara Image

Meet Barbara

Barbara knew the competition for a ticket to Rio 2016 would be fierce. Measuring herself against the best in her discipline, she decided to follow her dream nonetheless, knowing that T1D was the only challenger that really mattered. Although she did not qualify, Barbara showed the entire T1D community the importance of giving it all to chase their dreams, however challenging the path to success may be. She breathed into every one of us the spirit of a true champion.

Meet Dr. Remi Rabasa-Lhoret: Artificial Pancreas Project  Image

Meet Dr. Remi Rabasa-Lhoret: Artificial Pancreas Project

T1D is a chronic disease caused by an autoimmune destruction of pancreatic beta cells, which produce insulin. People living with T1D depend on insulin daily to live either through injections or the use of a pump. Patients must carefully manage their blood glucose levels to ensure they remain within a target range. Blood glucose control is the key to preventing serious long-term complications related to high glucose levels (such as blindness or kidney failure) and reduces the risk of hypoglycemia (dangerously low blood glucose that can lead to confusion, disorientation and, if severe, loss of consciousness).

Approximately two-thirds of patients don’t achieve their target range with current treatments,” says Dr. Rabasa-Lhoret, endocrinologist and supervisor of the external artificial pancreas research project at the IRCM. “The artificial pancreas could help them reach these targets and reduce the risk of hypoglycemia, which is feared by most patients and remains the most common adverse effect of insulin therapy.”

Learn more about this trial.