Trevor was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 12. The year was 1991 and as such there wasn’t much awareness around type 1 and what it meant. Trevor’s family didn’t know anyone who had type 1 and they weren’t sure what the outlook on life was going to be. They had to learn quickly, transitioning from the doctor’s initial diagnosis to 10 days in the Royal Children’s Hospital.
Earlier in 2019, Trevor’s daughter was diagnosed with type 1, which came as a real shock to the family.
“A day I’d been so scared of and hoping I could avoid, which ultimately arrived 4 weeks out from the start of the 2019 Type 1 Challenge ride,” Trevor said.
“In terms of diagnosis, I can’t say emotionally it was any easier than what my parents went through with me. The main difference I guess is understanding and awareness. Immediately my wife and I were able to discuss with health care professionals about scenarios and options, and our family and friendship network have been amazing in helping us through the first six months.”
Trevor said that there is a positive side – in years to come his daughter will have someone that understands the symptoms and feelings first hand, and he hopes to be able to keep mentoring her through it.
“The other positive is that she’s starting off with a level of technology (CGMs, Pumps) to make each day a little easier to manage and stay balanced, than what was available 28 years ago,” he said.
Having ridden in the JDRF One Ride in prior years, it was an immediate yes from him when a friend reached out helping organise the inaugural Type 1 Challenge ride.
“It was an immediate yes for me, to be cycling 900km as a Type 1 Diabetic, raising funds and awareness for JDRF along the way,” he said.
“The best part of the ride has to be the people that make it. From the riders, the support staff, and the team that organise it. Countless effort goes into the coordination, and the friendships that last as a result are truly amazing.
“More importantly however, connecting with the local communities we pass through is extremely beneficial, and being able to demonstrate along the way what can be achieved with Type 1 is rewarding.”
Trevor joked it is his fear of missing out (FOMO as he put it) that is the reason he signs up for the Type 1 Challenge each year.
“No, honestly, the cause means even more to me now. I enjoy riding my bike and showing others what can be achieved with T1, but there’s an even important reason for me now and that is my daughter and family,” he said.
And Trevor’s suggestion for those who are thinking of taking on the challenge?
“Check the route, sign up and get training. It’s a great week with an amazing group of people.”
Limited places available, filling fast, head to the website at: https://bluearmy.jdrf.org.au/event/type-1-challenge-2020