Ride the Tour de Cure to ‘Stop Diabetes’
The Tour de Cure, the American Diabetes Association’s signature fundraiser, is commemorating its 25th year in 2016 and Lakewood Ranch is pulling out all the stops in the annual ride, which over the decades has raised tens of millions of dollars for diabetes research in hopes of finding a cure.
“Tour de Cure is an opportunity to engage families, businesses, local clubs and various members of the medical community together to train, raise awareness and raise funds to support the mission,” says Melissa Parsons, American Diabetes Association (ADA) manager of fundraising and special events.
“The Tour de Cure offers a fun and friendly place for beginners or long distance cyclists to encourage one another and those who have diabetes to stay strong, knowing they have a community behind them, they are not alone,” Melissa explains.
The southwest Florida Tour de Cure has grown rapidly over the past five years, and, Melissa says, that would not have happened without the “dedication of our teams and sponsors.” She points specifically to teams including the ‘Village Idiots.’ The ‘Village Idiots’ team was the number three fundraising team in 2015, raising more than $23,000.
‘Village Idiots’ team captain Paul Troyer has a personal connection to diabetes and that connection is what propels him.
“I ride for my mother, my grandson, and several of my cousins that have diabetes,” he says. “I dream of the day they don’t have to give themselves injections and test their blood several times a day.” Melissa describes Paul as a “born leader and encourager; the type of guy who always sees the glass half full.”
“Paul motivates the cycling club to do better, help more people and have fun,” Melissa says. “This group has grown and continues to grow.”
ADA Tour de Cure Red Riders are participants who live with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes and, as the ADA says, “Showcase the courage it takes to live every day with this difficult disease. It’s time to recognize those women with diabetes who get on their bikes and ride because they are our true heroes.”
‘Village Idiot’ team member Tony Incardona is a Red Rider.
“As a diabetes fighter, the Tour is one the most important things to me to help others understand the importance of fighting this terrible disease. I got involved in cycling three years ago with the tour as my goal; it has changed my life in regards to my long term health,” Tony says.
“The Tour de Cure gave me the opportunity to set goals and achieve those goals. My first year allowed me the opportunity to help financially fight a disease that I am affected by. It also gave me the opportunity to train and reach my goal of riding 30 miles on a bike. In year two, I set my goal to ride 60 miles in the Tour and do a century ride in the same year. I fight diabetes and raise money for this outstanding cause to help find a cure that will allow everyone to live a healthy life.”
Melissa says Tony has an “awesome attitude and outlook.”
“As a Red Rider, he is constantly managing his diabetes, but stays positive and is always willing to encourage other Red Riders,” she says. Tony was the number seven top fundraiser raising more than $3,000 in 2015.
Tour de Cure at Lakewood Ranch
The ADA Tour de Cure includes 10m, 20m, 35m, 62m, and 100m route distances. The latter is designed to be a family ride – just 10 miles with all the bells and whistles attached. Slated to be held Sunday April 10, 2016 beginning at Lakewood Main Street in Lakewood Ranch, the Tour de Cure is celebrating its 25th anniversary. More than just a cycling event, it’s a day packed with excitement and energy where riders of all levels join forces in the fight to ‘Stop Diabetes’ and raise critical funds for diabetes research, education and advocacy in support of the ADA.