If you asked the Wayland family why they ride in Tour de Cure®, they would say it is for their daughter or for their older sister, Bemi.
Bemi was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in grade school. Her knowledge of this disease was almost nonexistent when she was diagnosed, but with the support of her family and friends, she learned how to adjust her lifestyle, eating habits and exercise routine to maintain a normal life. From this young age, she also learned how to manage and regulate her blood glucose levels with insulin injections in order to survive.
Bemi was introduced to the American Diabetes Association when she attended her first Camp Carolina Trails outing for children with diabetes. Each year this residential summer camp welcomes 180 North Carolina youth to engage in sports and activities and receive diabetes education and life lessons from medical staff, including pediatric endocrinologists, physician assistants, registered nurses and registered dietitians, many of whom are also certified diabetes educators.
Quickly Bemi learned that diabetes provided opportunities to do good. She remembered what it was like when a classmate of hers was diagnosed with diabetes, and no one in the class knew what this meant. Bemi also remembered what it was like when she was diagnosed and lost her close friends due to misconceptions and lack of awareness and knowledge about diabetes. Knowing how important diabetes advocacy is, Bemi has made it her career aspiration to speak out for and to the communities affected by diabetes.
Now in 2014, Bemi has taken on a new role within the Association. She has officially registered for their local Tour de Cure as a Red Rider—that’s a cyclist who lives with diabetes. Watch this video of Bemi and father Derek talking through their experience and how they pledged to start the year off right with the Jan. 1 Resolution Ride in support of the North Carolina Tour de Cure two-day ride, coming up May 17-18, 2014.
Their resolution: to find a cure and Stop Diabetes®.