Last post I wrote about my participation in the mHealth tour as a part of the newly formed TeamBloodGlucose. These are my plans for afterwards, though I have already set these plans in action.
Once the tour is over the participants from TeamBG, 10 countries in all, will go back to their home countries and work to create events there. I have started work already. My first event here in Israel will be to take part as a team, in TeamBG colours, in the Gran Fondo on December 13th. I have invited members of TeamBG to come over and join in, but my main goal is to get some local people with diabetes to ride with us on the event. It will be called The Gran Fondo Dead Sea Diabetes Challenge. The challenge is to for a team of people with diabetes to ride the full Gran Fondo, which will be held near the Dead Sea in December, and it is a call to people with diabetes that want to get fit, get their diabetes under control and ride a serious and long bike ride. This is not something you can just turn up on the day and ride. You have to train for it. This is why I my work starts now. I really hope that I can encourage some people that would have normally thought that this was out of reach to take part. The larger the group of TeamBG representatives that we have the bigger noise we will make - meaning more publicity. This is about local, and possibly international, publicity. Part of this will mean having our own support car, that will follow the bulk of the group of riders, making sure that they are OK, have plenty of food and water, spare wheels and inner tubes as well as some technical support. There are food stops along the way and in addition to the food and water available for everyone I hope to have a little extra support for people with diabetes, for example spare blood glucose testers.
From here I hope that the organisation will become well enough established that we can have our own events as well as participate in national and international races and sportives. The plan is to create an event some time in spring 2014, close enough to the Gran Fondo, December 2013, that we can ride the wave of publicity but not in the middle of winter and to give enough time to plan. The event will be a day of participation in sport for people with diabetes, families of those with diabetes, and people who are at risk of diabetes. I plan to include events at different levels, not just cycling but other things as well. With medical professionals like dietitians and sports consultants who can help people chose a sport that works for them and give advice on how to use that sport to effectively improve the diabetic control. Finally I hope that there will be enough high level people that we could have a main event style race, to show people what can be achieved, that there is no reason that diabetes should hold anyone back from anything, certainly not sport.
If you are reading this and are interested in the work that I am doing or in joining me on the challenge or future events, please contact me through this blog or Twitter as soon as possible. I cannot do this alone. I have made a start. I am in constant contact with the organizer of the Gran Fondo, who is really hoping we can make this into something big. I have spoken to another diabetic cyclist who works for a medical devices company here in Israel, and I have started negotiations with another diabetic device company about sponsorship.
If you know of anyone that might be interested or that you think I should speak to let me know. Currently I am looking for diabetic cyclists, team and personal sponsors and donors, and in the future people with diabetes who want to get more involved in sport, old bikes (well I don't want them yet, but if you have one hang on to it for a bit for me please) and people that want to volunteer to help organize future events.
Finally regarding sponsorship. If you are a company, or know of one, that makes equipment or apps for people with diabetes and are interested on being well advertised by our events and participants, additionally we will have the opportunity to use the product and show it off, then please let me know. If you are involved in a company that has nothing to do with diabetes but would still like that association, publicity and knowledge that you are helping with a worthy cause that affects more than 300 million people worldwide, we are also interested in sponsorship. What we are trying to do will require some funding and if you can donate we would greatly appreciate it. If you would like to donate to TeamBG or sponsor me personally on my up coming ride across the Pyrenees then please go to the the TeamBG website and click on the donate button. Half the money you donate will go towards funding my entry into the ride and the other half will go directly to the TeamBG pot. If you do donate you will be contacted asking if you are donating on someone's behalf.
Thanks for your support, please get in touch and let me know what you think
Live long and stay healthy.