What We’re Reading: Team Type 1 and the Tour of Rwanda

Team Type 1 — a professional cycling team based in the United States — is special: As the first and only team to field only riders with diabetes in a UCI (International Cycling Union) race, Team Type 1 is currently competing in the Tour of Rwanda. The 9-stage, 1000-kilometer race was the first to be held in East Africa and features 15 teams this year. Team Type 1’s goal is “to instill hope and inspiration for people around the world affected by diabetes” and to show that “with appropriate diet, exercise, treatment and technology…anyone with diabetes can achieve their dreams.”

Team Type 1 has finished in the lead group after the opening two stages, including rider Martijn Verschoor’s top-ten finish. As part of their outreach program, the cyclists post their blood glucose levels in addition to their race results after each stage. “It’s another challenge in the diabetes game, and it’s so cool to see six athletes all competing in the race on their Colnagos [bikes] and then again with each other with their Navigators to see who can be the diabetes master,” said Phil Southerland, CEO and cofounder of Team Type 1.

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On World Diabetes Day — before participating in the race — Team Type 1 presented the Rwanda Diabetes Association child care clinic with 35,000 test strips and 300 blood glucose monitors donated to Rwandan children with Type 1 diabetes. Rather than checking once a week or even month, these children now have life-saving supplies to check their blood glucose three times a day for one year.

You can learn more about Team Type 1 on their Web site www.teamtype1.org. You can also follow their progress or find out how to donate unused supplies on their Diabetes Outreach in Rwanda Race Coverage summary page or their Twitter account.

This blog entry was written by Web Intern Helen Zhu.