Sorry it's been a while. Whilst I've been away, I've become a doctor (I still don't look like one), bike packed across Baja (that was supermegafun) and only broken one major limb in 12 months (that's good going for me). I wanted to share a little request, it's not for me but it's from me. I know many people with diabetes, with an interest in cycling or with nothing better to do read this. So I thought I would share.
As many of you know, I help with a program that works with people in the Native American community living with Diabetes. We use a community based intervention entered on exercise and education to empower people to live healthier and happier lives. I myself have diabetes and understand the value of a support structure outside of a medical team, and of exercise in diabetes management. I also understand how fun it is to ride bikes.
What we do is create a system where people on the Pascua Yaqui reservation serve as role models for each other and mentor each other in increasing exercise and improving diet, we help remove the barriers between them and a healthy diet/ exercise by providing bikes, equipment and a mobile market. We focus on an event in November at which our riders join over 8000 others in riding various distances up to and including 109 miles. We had over 100 people ride this year, 4 years ago a Yaqui person had never ridden the event.
We can demonstrate drops in Hba1c (long term blood glucose control) which are ten times better than traditional interventions (which we like to term "white people in white coats") what we can't do is get those white people in white coats to fund our program.
Our NIH Proposal cam dup against the objection that our mentors are under qualified ( i don't know anyone better qualified to work in the native community than native people, certainly not me with a doctorate). We also met the objection that cycling is dangerous (with a life expectancy below 50 for people with diabetes on the rez, i would argue that not cycling is far more dangerous). I understand that it can be hard for people a long way from where we are to understand our circumstances, but I also understand what it means to give someone their health and future back and I need help, and money, to keep doing that.
I'm looking for funding and I'm sure someone here reading this has access to it, if you have any ideas or contacts please get in touch. We're in a rough spot between research and philanthropy because we are doing a little of both and a lot of good . I'd be forever indebted for your help. Thanks