Why I Ride to Stop Diabetes®: David Gibbs

This Red Rider story comes to us from the Chicago area. Cheer him on in the comment section below!

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David Gibbs, Third-Year Red Rider, Captain of Team Red Chicago

David Gibbs, Third-Year Red Rider, Captain of Team Red Chicago

Tell us a little bit about your diagnosis. Back in 2011 I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Although I was not overweight, there is a significant family history of diabetes. My grandmothers had diabetes, my mother had it and my brother has it. In order to control my diabetes I made some changes to my diet and started riding my bike more frequently.

Why do you ride in the Tour de Cure®? I ride mostly for my health…cycling helps me keep my diabetes under control. I also ride in the hopes that, some day, a cure can be found to prevent the disease that affects my friends, co-workers, family, friends and myself.

I found out about the Tour de Cure while discussing cycling with a friend of mine. He told me about a fundraising bike ride where, if I rode, I could wear a special red jersey. [Red Riders are cyclists with diabetes who participate in Tour de Cure.] I did a bit of research and found out about the American Diabetes Association Tour de Cure. I signed up to ride 35 miles and set my goal to raise $200. I quickly found out that my friends, family and coworkers were very generous and I had to keep raising my fundraising goal! That first year I raised more than $3500.

What is the one thing you would tell someone who has just been diagnosed with diabetes? Don’t ignore it. Even if the diagnosis is prediabetes, you need to get on top of it. Listen to your doctor, go to a diabetes education class, watch what you eat and start some form of exercise.

What is your favorite part of the Tour de Cure? I have three favorite parts of the Tour:

1. The start … the sense of excitement and anticipation when that huge group of people starts riding is infectious.

2. The rest stops … it’s great seeing (and talking to) all those people, from 12-year-old kids to 70+-year-old retirees, all riding together to help Stop Diabetes®.

3. The finish … knowing that I completed something that, just a few years prior, I would have thought impossible is a huge rush!

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Ready to ride to Stop Diabetes like David? Find a Tour de Cure event near you and sign up!

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5 Responses to Why I Ride to Stop Diabetes®: David Gibbs

  1. david says:

    You can sponsor me by visiting Ride With David.

    If you’re interested in seeing where my donations come from, visit my donation map (it’s a geeky thing).

  2. Thank you David for all that you do! We are so appreciative of your time and commitment to the Chicagoland Tour de Cure!

  3. Les Biffle says:

    Hi David,
    I like you am Type 2, diagnosed in ’06 at 46 years old. I have never been overweight, either, but my grandfather, two uncles, and one cousin, so far, have Diabetes. I affectionately call my journey “Fighting the War on Diabetes.” I cycle 200+ miles a month, go the gym about 3 times a week, and I watch my carbs. In September I ride in “Tour de Cure” Central Texas, just outside Austin, TX.

    Keep fighting, and keep talking about Diabetes. You will help others this way. The way I see it, this is part of the reason I developed Diabetes– to help others.

  4. Mitch Gibbs says:

    When I was very young, I always wanted to be like my oldest brother. I got over that – as most brothers do. Some things come full circle. I’m David’s other brother who doesn’t have a diabetes diagnosis (but has all of the same family indicators plus a lifetime weight problem).

    I’ll add that David’s participation in the ride and his response to his diabetes diagnosis has been an inspiration to those who know and love him. David hit his 50th birthday in the best shape of his life and has taken to riding and fundraising for Tour de Cure like a fish to water. While I don’t ride, he’s inspired me to make many lifestyle changes including changing the way I eat (32 lbs discarded so far), walking at least a couple of miles every day and switching to a treadmill desk. As David says, “Move your feet if you want to keep your feet.” He talks about it, he blogs about it, he promotes it on social media and he’s taken many others on the journey with him.

    I keep teasing him by asking him what he’s doing to “Win the Tour de Cure”. Thinking a bit more about it, I’m actually pretty sure he’s already won it and he keeps on winning it. Luckily, there’s room for many winners. Go Red Rider!

  5. Kimberly Ann Malone says:

    Last year I rode in the Easton Tour De Cure as a solo Red Rider and had an amazing experience!
    Unfortunately, immediately following the event, I was involved in a head on collision and endured some very serious injuries. I believe I had a car full of Angels that day and because of them, I am here to tell you about my story.
    With the support of my family, friends and my new found Easton Md family and friends from the Tour – I have found the courage to return this year with a team. To accommodate my injuries, I now ride a three wheel trike, as balance is now an issue for me. I may only complete 10 minutes of the ten mile ride – but I am determined to do what ever I can.
    The Tour has given me focus and something to celebrate on the anniversary of my accident and for this I am truly grateful.
    I have named my team, “Kim’s Angels”, as I know they will help me in any way that they can to see to it that May 17, 2014 will be a complete success. Thank you All for helping me support my passion for finding a cure for diabetes.
    Go Red Riders!!

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