Cycling event raises thousands for Type 1 diabetics in Simcoe Muskoka
A cycling event in Oro Medonte raised $25,000 for Type 1 diabetics on Sunday.
The Tour de T1D saw 116 participants cycle 25, 55 or 100-kilometre route at Heights Ski and Country Club to support Barrie's Youth Diabetic Clinic at Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH).
Dr. Darlene Newham and Dr. Richard Goudie, two local physicians, founded the event after their son, Lukas, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.
"We started it because there really were not any cycling events that we could find to raise awareness and to raise money for Type 1 diabetes," says Newham.
Now in its fourth year, the event has raised more than $100,000 for RVH. The hospital had been caring for Lukas since his diagnosis six years ago.
"We had no idea the impact this disease would have on a child, let alone on a whole family," Newham says. "So it was really important for us to just do something and we wanted to get out on a bike and make a difference."
Now 21-years-old, Lukas has gotten his diabetes under control and manages it well.
"I thought you know what, I can do this. I can live with this...I got support from the youth diabetic clinic at RVH and realized that I could do better with this and I could do whatever I wanted in life," Lukas says.
He adds that dealing with a new diagnosis can be difficult.
"It's hard. Your life changes like that in an instant. But if you get diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, talk to people, don't shut yourself out. You'll get over it, and you'll be able to control it," Lukas says.
Tour de T1D will be an annual event, taking place on the last Sunday of September.
If you'd like to donate to the cause, visit their website.