My name is Rod Freeseman. I was diagnosed with T1D in January of 1970 when I was only 18 months old. This early diagnosis was due to my mothers diligence in caring for me and my pediatrician recognizing the early symptoms of T1D. Treatment and care for T1D was very different in 1970.
Insulin was derived from pork being offered in a 4-36 hour slow release insulin and a 2-8 hour quick release insulin to be administered at meals or high BGL. Of course, checking BGL levels in 1970 meant urinating on an indicator stick and waiting 2 minutes to then match the color of the test strip to a coded color strip on the bottle of strips. The colors indicated ranges of BGL from 60-120, 120-180, 180-240, etc. This indicated the BGL in your urine in ranges of 60mg/L. This was your BGL 2 hours previous to testing if it was in your urine.
Today, because of funds raised in events like ours, a person with T1D can get their BGL in 5 seconds by simply pricking their finder and getting the exact BGL. 118mg/L as an example. Insulin is also synthetic today and comprised of several different compositions allowing individuals to use the brand or composition which helps them control their BGL the best. Some of these formulas act as quickly as 15 minutes and are out of your system in 2 hours.
Today, pumps are also available which has lead to an entirely new level of care for those of us living with T1D. Each of these advances is again due to the dedication and passion of those of you who take part in fund raising events like ours. As a Type 1 Diabetic I am and will continue to be eternally grateful to everyone who volunteers, donates time, money, and auction items, and shows up to support finding a cure.
In 1972 my family started the first ride and it has grown from there into a two day event with camping, meals, Cowboy church, a dance and auction. All of this leads to raising awareness and funds for research.
A handful of people rode that first year and now it is not unusual for there to be 300 riders each day. The ride starting point and trail have changed over the years but the generosity of land owners, businesses, and individuals has not. People have come from as far as Texas, the Dakotas, Ohio and others.
There are so many people who have given so much, attempting to list any one person or business is impossible. The financial benefits that the JDRF receives from these generous people has funded literally thousands of hours of research. The advancements made in treating and living with T1D are a direct result of these people and their awesome generosity.
Every year there is new and exciting news about the advancement in treating and finding a cure. 30 years ago it was the ability to test your own blood glucose levels at home. Today Medtronic has introduced a new pump that uses artificial intelligence to "learn" how one persons body uses insulin and makes adjustments to help lower A1c levels and ultimately allow that person to live a longer healthier life.
My family and I greatly appreciate all that is done in the name of funding a cure and research for treating T1D which has allowed me to live a long and wonderful life! Thank you!