I participated in an ADA fundraising bike ride today where a number of people – some diabetics and others non-diabetics – come and bike hoping for a cure for the disease. All the diabetic riders in the event are given a special status of ‘RED Rider’ and this super-awesome Jersey that says ‘I Ride With Diabetes!’ I was wearing that jersey and was super-duper excited about it! As we lined up at the start line, the announcer asked if there were any Red Riders in the bunch. 6-7 of us raised our hands (and because I was super-duper excited, I also shouted out ‘whoooohoooo!’ at the same time!). And then to my surprise, everyone started clapping for us! The clapping went on for a couple of seconds and in those 2 seconds, I was more sure than ever that I getting diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes was really not as bad a thing as I thought it was! I wasn’t doing anything really great – I was going to bike 45 miles just like everyone else in the bunch. Ofcourse, like always, I had to make sure that I keep track of my blood sugar levels while I am doing it. But, I felt really really good standing there and watching people clap for all of us. It felt like all of them understood what it takes to live 24×7 with this disease. Now, I know that most of them were there for just a fun-filled ride on an awesome day and they probably thought that if it was for a good cause, that’s an icing on the cake. But, all of them raised funds, came to participate in the event, and clapped for all the red riders in the crowd – it’s a good enough motivation for me to keep going, thinking that all of them are standing beside us in our fight against diabetes.
There’s one line that Prof. Randy Pausch said in his last lecture that has had a huge impact on my life: “We can’t change the cards we’re dealt, just how we play the hand”. The thing that made me happy about today was that may be, by a really really remote chance, I inspired one of those people in the crowd to think about this and just play the hand that they are dealt.