Research

Meet the inspiring father-daughter duo taking on the JDRF One Ride Challenge!

JDRF
JDRF
August 30, 2021

Let’s meet the inspiring father-daughter duo who share a passion for BMX riding and a goal to help defeat type 1 diabetes.

Daniel was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D) at a young age, but that didn’t stop him from becoming a proud father of two, a motorcycle racer, and a mentor and supporter to his 8 year old daughter Ruby – who competes as a State BMX rider!

This year, Daniel and Ruby are taking on the JDRF One Ride Event to set themselves a new challenge. We had a chat with Daniel and Ruby to learn a bit more about what drives them and why they chose to sign up for the JDRF One Ride this year.

LET’S MEET DANIEL…

How old were you when you were first diagnosed with T1D and what has been the biggest impact it has had on your life so far?

I was diagnosed at the age of 11. While diabetes itself has had so many impacts on my life – understanding that the day-to-day control can be adjusted to suit any sort of lifestyle change, helps me view T1D as less of a burden and more of an opportunity to understand my body and how it reacts.

This was especially important during the first few years after my diagnosis, as I was racing motocross – which is a very physically demanding sport!

Has your outlook on T1D evolved throughout the years since your diagnosis? Knowing what you know now, is there anything you would tell your younger self?

I’ve always had the opinion, even at a young age, that ‘I’ control the diabetes, not the other way round.

The message I would give my younger self (especially a teenage me) would be “TEST BGL more!!”

How did you discover your love for BMX riding? What has been your experience with managing T1D and taking part in physical activities such as riding?

I had always been into motorcycles. Racing MX (outdoor) and SX (indoor) around the country were an important part of my life.

BMX came up as a way we could all do something together as a family. It started with a ‘come and try’ day for my 4yr old son Jaxon. After watching the skills and control the riders had, I was busting to give it a go!

Being such an explosive and physically demanding sport, I have to make sure I’ve eaten the right foods to avoid a dip in BGL. I suffer from delayed hypos, so the few days following a big race are up and down. However, the more I ride and train, the more it becomes a routine and the ups and downs stable out. 

We hear your 8 year old daughter Ruby shares the same passion as you and is a state BMX rider! Do you both ride together?

Yes! I am very proud of Ruby and her passion for racing. We train together 2-3 times a week and race on weekends at various tracks around the state.

One of the things I love about BMX is that I get to watch my family race, have fun, achieve and celebrate their PB’s and guide them through handling the challenging times.

Why did you and your daughter sign up for the JDRF One Ride Challenge this year?

During the current Sydney lockdown, we are unable to ride at any of the BMX racing tracks around us.

To maintain a bit of bike fitness, I thought riding along the local cycleway could be a great idea, so I purchased us some cheap road bikes. I’ve never owned one of these bikes until 4 weeks ago!

Ruby and I started riding together each day and she loved it. It gave us both a chance to get out of the house, do some exercise, keep mentally fit and spend some ‘Daddy Daughter Time’ together.

Then the JDRF One Ride event appeared on my social media – it was brilliantly timed! After reading the details of the ride it sounded like the perfect way to dive further into our new hobby and do some good while we were at it.

Funds raised in One Ride will go towards T1D research. How important is it to you that we support promising areas of T1D research?

Very important. Not only for myself and other family members who have T1D, but for those yet to be diagnosed. If managing it can be made easier in the future, it means less struggles for those who have to start dealing with it as I did.

What do you hope to see in the future when it comes to treatments and technology for people living with T1D?

I would like to see the new technologies in managing T1D being more affordable and accessible for those over 18. Young people starting work, leaving home and starting a family have a hard enough time navigating life – let alone keeping their focus on staying in control of the disease.

I would also hope to see a cure sometime in my lifetime, that would be the big one!!

NOW LET’S MEET RUBY…

Ruby, why did you start BMX riding and what is your favourite part about being a state BMX rider?

I started riding BMX because it looked like a fun sport to be involved in. My favourite part about riding BMX is making great friends and riding with others and supporting their own goals and achievements.

What do you love most about riding with your dad?

We always have fun and Dad pushes me to try my best.

What are you most excited about in the One Ride challenge?

I am excited to ride each day with my Dad and have fun while we talk, ride and joke. I also want to represent the people who have donated to us and not let them down.

How do you hope the funds you raise will help people with T1D?

It would be great if my Dad didn’t have to do injections everyday after he eats.

If you are interested in being part of a fun fitness event, while raising money to improve lives and defeat T1D for the more than 125,000 Australians currently diagnosed – register here!

JDRF
JDRF