One family will ride 25 miles Saturday as Team Luke, named for their teenage son who is coping with type 1 diabetes.
One family will ride 25 miles Saturday as Team Luke, named for their teenage son who is coping with type 1 diabetes. Emily Stroud and Brian Holt
This Saturday teams will cycle across Knoxville in the Tour de Cure. The five routes range from 10 miles to a hundred miles!
It is the third year for the Guinn family to ride in the Tour de Cure. They cycle together to practice for Saturday's event.
They are Team Luke, one of about 40 teams.
"We look forward to it every year now. We started out about three years ago a couple of years after our son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. It's a great event and its a great fundraiser for the American Diabetes Association," Jim Guinn said.
Luke Guinn is 14 years old. He said, "I was at my grandparents' house and I was having nausea and everything. I ended up passing out at their house so they took me to the hospital and they found out I had Type 1."
He is living with type 1 diabetes.
Your pancreas just stops working and it doesn't work at all," he said.
Pancreas stop producing insulin so sugar and starch can't enter cells to produce energy. That's why Luke has an insulin pump. There is no cure for type 1 diabetes but it can be managed.
"I have to be careful with what I eat and make sure I take the right amount of insulin and that I don't eat too much sweets because that will make my blood sugar go up," he said.
The Tour de Cure has staggered start times Saturday morning based on distance.
Team Luke hopes to raise $4,000 and will ride 25 miles.
Luke said, "I actually bicycled before I had diabetes. I really liked it so Tour de Cure was a really fun thing for me to do help raise money for diabetes."
Jim said, "It's been great fun it's been great exercise and we'll continue to keep doing it."
Wendi Mullins with the American Diabetes Association said, "Diabetes is a huge epidemic. Nationally what we see is 8% of our population has diabetes. In Knoxville? 15% of our population is living with diabetes."
Almost twice the national number. Wendi Mullins said Tour de Cure is so important to East Tennessee.
"The funds that we raise through the Tour de Cure we actually use for all of our education purposes here in the local community as well as all of our advocacy. Now nationally we support what happens with research so some of that money goes back to the national organization to help with research," she said.
Luke said, "I'm really hoping that they'll find a cure soon and hopefully this money will help find a cure."
The Tour de Cure starts and finishes at UT Gardens at Jacobs Drive.