Tour de Cure: Medtronic Team Bikes to Support ADA
Today, we hear from our very own Jenny Simonson, an Associate Product Specialist who recently rode with the Medtronic team in the American Diabetes Association (ADA) Tour de Cure in Long Beach, Ca. The bike ride is just one of many events in which Medtronic employees participate to raise funds for non-profit organizations like ADA and JDRF. I hope you enjoy her recap of the ride as well as her take on what it means to live the Medtronic mission on the job as well as in our daily lives. And a big thank-you to Jenny, the Revel-ers and all the individuals out there who walk, pedal, golf etc. to help improve the lives of people with diabetes.
One of the reasons that I love working at Medtronic is that the employees live the mission (in short: to alleviate pain, restore health, and extend life) both on the job and in their daily lives. Earlier this month I definitely saw it in action.
On Sunday May 1, a group of my Medtronic colleagues and I (code name: Team Revel-ers) completed the American Diabetes Association (ADA) Tour de Cure in Long Beach, CA – a fundraising bike ride for the ADA in 43 different states.
The routes were as short as 8 miles and as long as 100 miles and traveled from the shores of Long Beach up through the hilly terrain of Palos Verdes. More importantly, together the Revel-ers raised $6,485.00 for the ADA. All together, over 2,500 participants at the Long Beach event raised $530,191.82 (to date) for the ADA and shared in ADA’s mission “to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.”
The Revel-ers were led by Pam Roller, a director in our Operations Department, who earned the nickname “The Goat” after proving to be a master of hills during the after work training rides. Her nickname was so revered that some on the team would call out to her with a goats “mahhh” sound as she passed in the halls. With Pam as our fearless leader, we had a variety of Medtronic riders train for the 32, 61, or 100 mile rides on the big day.
When I showed up on Sunday morning, I planned to ride the 32 mile ride and had packed only a granola bar in preparation. But after a few wrong turns, an encouraging teammate, and an impulsive decision on race day, I ended up on the grueling 61 mile route. Add a few more wrong turns up the steep winding roads of Palos Verdes, and I undoubtedly added even more, making it close to a 75 mile route! Like most things in life, it didn’t go exactly as planned, but I enjoyed the beautiful ride along the coast with so many eager and spirited people by my side.
After the team crossed the finish line, we all limped (except for Vinh Tran, a software engineer who beat everyone to the finish line after the 100 mile ride and casually mentioned he could head out again for another 30 miles) to the finishers lunch and traded stories about the day. We all agreed that, even though we work with people with diabetes every day, the ADA Tour de Cure was a unique opportunity to ride up to 100 miles along side others who benefit from the insulin pump therapy Medtronic provides.
As I was pedaling up the intense inclines (and I mean intense, I could barely walk the next day!), I realized how different my life could be if I were riding with diabetes. Perhaps I wouldn’t be able to make a last minute switch from the 32 to the 61 mile route on a whim. Perhaps I could, but only if I had enough snacks for the race. A few miles in, I realized I forgot to wear my biking gloves, but what if that was my meter? Or my snacks?
Riders with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes wore red jerseys that proudly proclaimed “Red Rider” on the back (and I know this because most of them passed me). Recognizing these things renewed a passion for the Medtronic mission to “alleviate pain, restore health, and extend life” so that all those with Diabetes are able to ride whichever route they choose, and if they slow down it is because they need to train more (cough, like me, cough) and not because of diabetes.
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.
Please visit http://www.medtronicdiabetes.com/importantsafetyinformation for complete safety information.