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Triabetes Provides Inspiration and Encouragement for People with Diabetes

Published: 10/30/10
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We recently had the opportunity to watch a compelling documentary titled The Science of Inspiration, which chronicles the journeys of the twelve members of the inaugural Triabetes (the world’s largest triathlon club for people with diabetes) team in their quest to finish the 2008 Ironman Wisconsin triathlon – a grueling 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, and 26.2-mile run. Their mission and their motivation: to prove that there are no boundaries for people with diabetes – a critical message they wanted to spread, especially to children with diabetes. One participant proclaimed, “I have type 1, but it doesn’t have me.” Another said, “We’re not pro athletes, we’re Joe Diabetic,” encouraging all viewers that they can achieve anything – that there are no limits, even with diabetes. Participants highlighted how Triabetes changed their lives by connecting them with other members of the diabetes community, and by helping them to improve their health. While training, Dave Shack, a self-proclaimed “couch potato” from Boone, North Carolina, said that prior to joining Triabetes, there was a period in his life in which he didn’t even check his blood glucose regularly. Throughout the experience, Triabuddies (kids with diabetes) accompanied the participants for motivation, encouragement, and support, eventually crossing the finish line on the race day with their counterparts. At the end of The Science of Inspiration, Triabuddy Taylor Burger declared in a way that we believe will resonate with and inspire all with diabetes, “I am a person with diabetes, and I can overcome anything.”

The Triabetes legacy continues, with past participants having completed the Ironman Arizona in 2009, and current participants from across the nation training for the Ironman St. George set to take place in 2011 in Utah. To follow their progress, you can visit their Facebook or YouTube pages.

If you feel inspired, there are many ways you can get involved! Children can sign up to become Triabuddies for future triathlons, while adults can join the Triabetes team. For those of you looking to ease your way in, Insulindependence, Triabetes’ parent organization, offers a variety of other local clubs and programs, including walks, runs, surfs, dives, and various other outdoor adventures (see their website). If you’re interested in watching the documentary, stay tuned – we hope to provide you with screening dates and locations as they become available.  --VW

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