JDRF One Ride Fundraising Initiative

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  • By Wei Jek Keng and Kale Griffiths
  • Posted in Charity
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JDRF One Ride Fundraising Initiative

Thank you to all our cyclists who have helped raise $2,810 for JDRF so far this September! Read more for our Q&A with Iliana, a young cyclist with Type 1 Diabetes.

A very BIG thank you on behalf of the Bike Force Joondalup to all our Force Cycle Crew and regular group riders who have donated and supported us and our fundraising campaign for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) One Ride charity initiative! Thanks to all your kind generosity, we have raised $2,836 so far and currently sit in 6th place in the fundraising table! All 29 members in the team have been working hard and putting in the kms and the team has now collectively ridden over 16,000km in the month of September! The reason why we do this, of course, is to support and help raise funds for the JDRF; to aid their research; and to improve the care and lives of children and young people with Type 1 Diabetes. One such young person is Iliana who is 13 years old and the daughter of Costa, one of our team members and a regular BFJ Saturday rider for the past few years. Iliana has just recently taken up cycling on her brother's old mountain bike with her dad and we were very privileged to meet and speak to her last weekend on their ride around Lake Joondalup.

 We asked Iliana a few questions, and we hope this can show the perspective of a young member of our community who we’re all here to help.

 

 

BFJ

It's so very nice to meet you and your Dad on your ride, and thank you so much for taking the time to speak to us. Costa, of course, is part of our team raising funds to support the JDRF, and we feel that it is such a lovely gesture from you to share your thoughts and experience as a young person with Type 1 Diabetes with our team, friends, and supporters.

 

So, how old were you when you first found out that you had Diabetes?

 

Iliana

I was 11 years old then.

 

BFJ

What was your initial reaction and how do you feel about your diagnosis now?

 

Iliana

I was quite shocked and scared at first, and felt like it was a task I couldn’t manage, but I have now grown to understand it, and have grown more confident in managing it and living with it every day.

 

BFJ

What happened with your diagnosis? Who did you have to see? 

 

Iliana

When I was diagnosed, I was in hospital for a week and saw lots of doctors, endocrinologists, nurses, and dietitian to help me to learn about diabetes, how to manage it, and how to live with it.

 

BFJ

So how do you manage your diabetes? 

 

Iliana

I manage my diabetes with a sensor on my arm to read my blood glucose, and I also use an insulin pump to make it easier and to more efficiently to give myself insulin. I like the injections in that they are a lot more discrete in the sense that you don’t have something big bulging out of your clothes, but personally, I prefer my insulin pump to injections because it makes it easier to eat what I want and I can snack more freely. There is also a lot more freedom with the pump and I can change the settings if need be.

 

BFJ

How has the condition changed your day-to-day life? Is there anything you do differently now? How do you feel about these changes?

 

Iliana

Diabetes has made me think more about my dietary decisions and I now have to worry about my levels and manage my blood sugar with insulin or glucose. With diabetes, I have to measure some of my food and use apps to see how many carbohydrates are in that measured amount. I also have to sit down and test my blood levels before each meal. When I feel my sugars are low, I also have to stay seated and take sugar. Although these changes were quite extreme at first, they have now become second nature and I have gradually been able to come to terms with what is needed to be done.

 

BFJ

What do you think you do well? When can you do better?

 

Iliana

I think that I do well at managing my sugar levels and treating my lows and highs. I am independent at managing my diabetes and I can do all the things that I need to do by myself. When I don’t have my scale with me, I don’t always have the chance to measure and sometimes have to guess how many carbs there are in my food, and sometimes I don’t always get it right, and my levels might drop or go high; although, as time has passed, I have become better at this. I also feel as though there is always more knowledge that I can gain about my condition, and need to continue to ask questions that can help answer any uncertainties I have.

 

BFJ

Do you worry about your condition and if so, what do you worry about?

 

Iliana

Yes, I do know that there are lots of risks with my condition and that is why I take it so seriously and try to manage it as best as I can. I am not as worried as I was when I was first diagnosed as I now have more of a feel of what to expect when it comes to what I am eating and how much insulin I am giving. I think my family does worry sometimes when I am low but they know that I can manage it independently therefore they have fewer worries.

 

BFJ

How has this affected your family?

 

Iliana

It has affected my family slightly with the regular hospital visits and the constant visits to the pharmacy to buy my medication and equipment. My parents also have to check my sugar during the night if my sensor reading says I am low, but we have always been close as a family and I feel very lucky to have such supportive parents. If anything, my diabetes has brought us much closer as a family. 

 

BFJ

What advice do you have for other young people / teenagers who have just been diagnosed with diabetes?

 

Iliana

I would recommend asking all your questions to clarify things or answer things because the doctors, nurses, and the team are there to support you, and from the questions you will gain knowledge to help you along the way. Take your condition seriously because what you do now can affect you in the future and lead to other conditions. Do not stress out too much about getting diagnosed because you will be able to manage it and there are so many support groups to help you through life with diabetes.

 

BFJ

Do you have a favourite sport? 

 

Iliana

I play hockey and I really enjoy that sport. We won our grand final last week which was very exciting, and I have lots of friends at hockey and love the sport. I play centre forward position and before games I just take off my pump to play so that it doesn’t get damaged.

 

BFJ

Do you like cycling and do you think you might road bike one day like your dad and with your dad?

 

Iliana

Yes, I have been getting into cycling lately and have been enjoying it because I have been doing it with my dad. I do think that I may get a road bike someday to do different rides like my dad and with my dad as I get more experienced. And thank you for the opportunity to share my story and for showing interest in my diabetes. I really appreciate you and your team's support for JDRF because I know that what you and your team are doing will help me, and children, and young people with diabetes, both now and in the future!

 

BFJ

And thank you so much Iliana, we think it is very brave of you to share your thoughts and journey with your dad's team mates and all our friends and supporters! It will definitely mean a lot to us to know that our donations, riding, and effort will make a huge difference to the care and lives of children and young people with diabetes like yourself. We really hope that you continue to enjoy your time on the bike and look forward to you joining your dad and us at BFJ in the very near future!   

 

 

Thank you for your time. We hope you can consider supporting this great cause.
For more information, please visit the JDRF Website

 

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