13-year old Kaide and 14-year old Jaydan are best mates with a passion for cycling. Jaydan was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at just 4 years old and has lived with it for most of his life. However, Kaide was diagnosed just a few weeks ago, with him and his family still coming to terms with all the different aspects of T1D. While the diagnosis has added a whole new dimension to their friendship, it has failed to take away their resilience and motivation to make a difference. So, when Kaide’s father, Daniel, came across Le Velo Virtuel – JDRF’s Virtual Cycling Challenge, he knew it would be the perfect event for the boys to take on a challenge where they could pursue their passion AND raise money for a cause that has influenced both their lives. Read more below about their diagnosis stories, how T1D has changed their lives and why they, along with their parents, chose to sign up for Le Velo Virtuel.
Can you tell us a little bit about Kaide’s diagnosis?
We noticed Kaide drinking so much more than normal and going to the toilet all the time. He was also super tired, and we had trouble getting him up in the mornings for school. During the weekend of the tour of Goulburn, he really wasn’t up to speed in his racing and kept saying his legs were cramped. We made him finish early and he came home to rest. We were concerned as he wasn’t himself. The next morning, he came into our room and I noticed he was a lot skinnier than normal (he only weighed 38.7kg normally). He weighed himself and he was only 34.2kg – that’s when I panicked.
That afternoon, after his compulsory geography exam, I took him to the doctor’s. When we got there and explained his symptoms, he had a BGL test straight away and was 27.5. The doctor referred us to Westmead Children’s hospital and we went to emergency. When he got fast tracked through emergency, his BGL was 32!
How do you think Kaide having T1D has affected your family life?
Life has definitely changed for our family. We decided to be more regimented in our meal times and we cut out take away foods. It has been stressful when he has had lows and in the first couple of weeks we were so busy with diabetes education and trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle for us all. We have all been concerned with Kaide’s well-being but he has been a champion with his insulin injections and BGL testing, never complaining once.
What has motivated Kaide to take part in a challenging event like Le Velo Virtuel at just 13?
Within a week of being diagnosed Team NovoNordisk rode for him during the Tour of Estonia. This really motivated Kaide on and when this day was advertised, it was a great opportunity for Kaide to join in. The 27th of July, the day of the event, is actually Kaide’s birthday and he will be turning 14!
Do you have a plan to manage Kaide’s BGLs during the event?
We will speak to our lovely diabetes educator and discuss our thoughts, however he gets his new Dexcom monitor next week, so fortunately reading his levels will be much easier. We will plan his food & insulin around it but he can easily do 1 to 2 hours of hard riding with good management.
What advice would you and Kaide give to anyone else thinking of signing up for the event?
Definitely sign up for the event, it’s a great cause and if you’re a keen cyclist it will be a great day.
Can you tell us a little bit about Jaydan’s diagnosis?
Jaydan was 4 years old when he was diagnosed, he had been presenting with extreme thirst and feeling unwell. I knew a bit about type 2 diabetes but nothing about type 1. When we took him to the doctor, they said he had type 1 diabetes.
How do you think Jaydan having T1D has affected your family life?
We have always been an active family so Jaydan was encouraged to participate in lots of sporting activities. He was always good with food and had not developed bad eating habits so we found we didn’t have to restrict food. With him being so young, it was harder on us as parents to administer insulin 4 times a day but it’s just part of his life now and we don’t see it any differently.
What has motivated Jaydan to take part in a challenging event like Le Velo Virtuel at just 14?
Jaydan has done challenges in the past to help cancer or heart research, so this kind of cycling event is exactly what he is good at, especially with the cause being one that’s so personal. He has been a member of LACC for 10 years, competing in many events in both road and track cycling. He has won many awards and was recently selected to represent NSW at a national level in track cycling.
Do you have a plan to manage Jaydan’s BGLs during the event?
We always have a plan to compete in any event. This one is easy as he won’t be out of range from his phone which reads his BGL from the Dexcom continuous monitoring system.
What advice would you and Jaydan give to anyone else thinking of signing up for the event?
I think it’s a fantastic way to raise money in a team environment that is safe and organised. Everyone can ride a bike for a short while so just changing with your team mates looks like a good way to get many more people involved.
If this sounds like something you’d want to be a part of, you can learn more about the event or sign up over here.