I'm going to peddle some facts about the problem, and ask you to pedal a bike for the solution.
We all know someone who has diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA) There are 23.6 million Americans living with the disease right now. More than 5.5 million Americans have it right now, and don't yet even know they have it. Another 57 million are considered pre-diabetic, highly likely to develop the disease...soon.
My father has type two diabetes. My nephew John has type one. So does his father, and so does his paternal grandmother.
John leaves tomorrow to go back to school at a military academy in Missouri. He's about to start 9th grade. He chose to go to this school because he loves all things military and he thrives in the rigid discipline and supervised academics that the school provides. His G.P.A.. last year was 3.9, and he got a 95 percent or better on all of his final exams. This is working. All John wants to do with his adult life is serve our country. His dream is to go to the Air Force Academy, right here in the city where he was born. I think that academically, physically and emotionally he could probably handle that tough program by the time he's 18.
It's not going to happen.
The AFA doesn't accept diabetics, and neither do West Point, or the Naval Academy. It makes sense in a broad sense, but any branch of the service would be pleased to have someone with John's sense of dedication and enthusiasm. Maybe things will change in the next few years by the time he's ready for college. They won't change without more research for better treatment and eventually a cure. Research takes money.
This Saturday, some of us will do what we can to raise a very small part of that money. Gold's Gym is hosting a spin-a-thon. Spinning is riding a stationary bike, in a group, while a too-fit trainer yells at everyone to go faster....and faster. It's a good workout for a good cause. You don't have to be a member of Gold's to spin for the ADA. If you already exercise regularly, maybe you'll find a new workout variation, or even a new place to work out. If you don't exercise much, this might be a great way to start. If you don't exercise much you're at a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Type 2 accounts for 90 to 95 percent of all diagnosed cases, and doctors say it's preventable. Exercise is one way to prevent it. Exercise to raise money to cure it is an even better way.
Call Gold's Gym, 548-8400, and sign up to spin. It's the new location at Briargate Blvd and Union. (yes, the one that used to be a Safeway store)
It's this Saturday from 8 to noon. I'll be there at 9, I'll be sweaty by 9:05 and spent by 10. I'll feel better for having worked out, and for having done a very, very, very small part to stop a growing problem, and maybe to help the Air Force Academy get a new cadet in a few years.
We'll talk again soon.
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