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Cyclist with Type 1 Diabetes Rides for Cancer Awareness: Part 2

By Amanda Sheldon

Managing Editor

Posted:  9/19/2013 3:00 PM

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Today, I’m excited to share with you another post from guest blogger, Gilpreet Kooner who we first introduced you to back in July when she told us her inspiring story. Gilpreet  teamed up with a local charity and was planning to cycle with a team of others all the way from Texas to Alaska to fight and bring about cancer awareness! I’m happy to report that Gilpreet completed this amazing once in a life-time journey and has stopped back to share a little about her ride. Join me in congratulating her on this incredible accomplishment and use the comments below to show her some love!

Hello again! The last time we spoke I was just about to leave on my cross-country adventure and I am happy to say that I did it. I rode my bike to Alaska!! Even though I’ve already crossed that finish line it still feels surreal. I have to say that I could not have made it to Alaska without the support of my teammates. They got me through my toughest days and I love them very much.

Let’s begin with a recap of my adventure! My route to Alaska cut through the Rockies. The first two weeks of the ride were very hard because of the heat and our bodies getting used to riding every day. We rode through Texas and Oklahoma and finally made it to Colorado in week three. Past riders have said that once you make it to Colorado it just gets more beautiful from there. And they were right! We saw mountains for the first time and it was magical. In Colorado, I got to climb Mt. Evans, the highest paved road in North America, with 10 other teammates. We climbed for 14 miles and reached over 14,000 feet in elevation. In my first blog I talked about not being the best cyclist, so getting to the top of the mountain was a big accomplishment for me. From that moment on I knew that I could get to the top of any hill and I would make it to Alaska. After Colorado we reached Wyoming. I found out quickly why it’s known as Windy Wyoming. Facing strong head winds everyday was tough but Wyoming was still beautiful nonetheless! We got to enjoy a rest day in Jackson Hole where the team got treated to white water rafting! Montana was gorgeous but very hot for us. Canada cooled us down and we got to experience riding in the rain. We were pretty isolated in Canada and we were surrounded only by the mountains. And then our final destination: ALASKA!

I received my pump supplies just a week before I left so I had just enough time to get a crash course on how to use both the pump and CGM. I went through a learning curve the first week of the ride. I had never used the CGM before and it took some getting used to. I also had to figure out what basal rate worked for me. But after figuring those things out it was pretty much smooth sailing from there! I really enjoyed having the CGM, especially when it alerted me that my sensor glucose was dropping or getting too high. It made it easier to be alerted ahead of time to check my blood glucose and correct quickly when I needed to. It was great to be on the pump. I feel like I manage my sugars a lot better when I’m on the pump versus the pens. I’m so thankful that I got to use them for the ride! I can’t even imagine how hard it would have been to ride if I didn’t have this technology to help me manage my diabetes along the way.

The best part of the trip for me was engaging with our hosts. We were greeted so warmly in every city with home cooked meals and smiling faces. I loved hearing their stories and their personal reasons in joining the fight against cancer. It was those stories that got me up each morning and ready to ride. I can go on and on about the amazing national parks we went through. About all the bears, eagles, elk, bison, and moose I saw. And about all the sunsets, the lakes, and the mountains I saw during the summer. But then this blog would never end!

This experience has been truly life changing. I may not be riding my bike anymore, but I will still get up every morning and think about all the loved ones that I ride for. I will continue to fight, forever and always. Yes, I am diabetic and yes I rode my bike to Alaska. Anything is possible.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
- Medtronic Diabetes insulin infusion pumps, continuous glucose monitoring systems and associated components are limited to sale by or on the order of a physician and should only be used under the direction of a healthcare professional familiar with the risks associated with the use of these systems.
- Successful operation of the insulin infusion pumps and/or continuous glucose monitoring systems requires adequate vision and hearing to recognize alerts and alarms.

Medtronic Diabetes Insulin Infusion Pumps
- Insulin pump therapy is not recommended for individuals who are unable or unwilling to perform a minimum of four blood glucose tests per day.
- Insulin pumps use rapid-acting insulin. If your insulin delivery is interrupted for any reason, you must be prepared to replace the missed insulin immediately.

Medtronic Diabetes Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) Systems
- The information provided by CGM systems is intended to supplement, not replace, blood glucose information obtained using a home glucose meter. A confirmatory fingerstick is required prior to treatment.
- Insertion of a glucose sensor may cause bleeding or irritation at the insertion site. Consult a physician immediately if you experience significant pain or if you suspect that the site is infected.

For more information, please visit www.medtronicdiabetes.com/importantsafetyinformation.

Comments

Anna

Posted on Mon Dec 30 18:55:08 GMT 2013

Wow, Gilpreet! Your accomplishment is amazing and inspiring! Thank you so much for sharing!

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