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Guest Blog: Cyclebetes.

The guest blog today is from Willie Cromack, the CEO for Accu-Chek Cyclebetes.  Willie writes passionately about Cyclebetes and their mission to keep the promise for a diabetes cure.  That sounds pretty darn good to me. 

The floor's yours, Willie!

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I don’t have diabetes.  I don’t know what it is like to monitor my sugar levels.  I don’t know the emotionalThe cyclebetes logo. levels that accompany being a type 1 diabetic or even the parent of a child with diabetes.  I am not an official insider.

However, I am loyal.  I am aware.  I understand the consequences.  I am a parent. I am passionate about leaving the world a better place than when I came into it. And I must help my friend fulfill his promise.

In 2007 a group of five friends bandied around one man who had made a promise to his daughter.  I was one of those men.  The father’s promise: to cure juvenile diabetes before his daughter’s 18th birthday.  In 2007 she was 12.

As it turned out we decided to take our passion for the outdoors, sports and events and create a cycling event like no other. Team Halifax to Vancouver [Team H2V] was born.  The idea: relay race across Canada [just over 6000km] in the shortest period of time ever.  Long story short: we succeeded in crossing in only 8 days and raised nearly $1 million for the JDRF.  More than that the media we gained, we raised the awareness of juvenile diabetes in Canada by an enormous level.  Watch the story unfold here.  

When we returned I resumed my life as a bike shop owner, an event creator/promoter, and a dad.  However, I was haunted by the idea that we had created something amazing and I did not want it to die.

We continued with our ideas and proceeded to write a book on the attitude it took to create our amazing ride.  It was called the Principles of the Ride: How to maximize what’s inside You.  Of the physical copies proceeds would continue to aid the JDRF.  (If you want a free copy, you can get one here.)

Still it was not powerful enough to create a long-term legacy.  We needed young people around the world to take action, see their power and we needed our original ride to inspire their efforts.  For years I had done a lot of promotional charity work through my bike store and these efforts ended up yielding the final piece of the legacy puzzle.  In particular, I had done some 24 hour rides within my store to raise money for charity.  I would use a bike trainer to ride continuously for an entire day and our customers would throw a few dollars into the jar.  The money raised was always a significant amount but paled in comparison to the money we raised going across Canada.  Coming from the category of “you just never know who is paying attention or what will happen” a friend and racer at John Henry Bikes wanted to talk to me, inspired by the race across Canada.  He had also been a person who had threatened to join me on my 24 hour spins.  Together we decided to create a 24hr spin-a-thon at the high school where he taught.  But rather than being the heroes we would emphasize school leadership committees taking on the production.  The Team H2V ride across Canada would be the inspiration for a modified version of relay teams indoors and at a high school.  The focus would be - students leading students to help their friends, family and others with type 1 diabetes.

The idea was a huge hit.  The students loved it and attacked the organizing of it with zest and zeal.  They created the name Cyclebetes and decided teams of 1-12 would participate … the aim being as many teams as possible.  In the end each team was to attempt to raise $1000, our goal being $50,000 from the one school.  

Cyclebetes, version one, exploded! Thirty five teams, a student driven organization and $82,000 raised!

This was it. The true legacy.

Cyclebetes cools off!!

In 2009 Accu-Chek Cyclebetes officially became a charitable business.  In 2009, over 20 schools will participate in the spin-a-thons, a tandem relay engaging thousands of participants will relay over three weeks across Canada.  A relay team of ten will begin the process of moving Cyclebetes into Australia and a small relay team of ten will cross the United States stopping at local high schools to unveil what a father’s promise has yielded.

In 2009 the rock dropped in the ocean and the small ripples are beginning to spread.  

In 2009, Accu-Chek Cyclebetes will bring the promise back into the public eye, helping everyone realize that they can have an impact on the world.  In 2009 the start of something absolutely huge has created roots.

Goal: 10,000 schools, millions of riders, cure juvenile diabetes.

The promise revolution is alive.  What’s your promise?

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Thanks for letting me host your post, Willie!   

Comments

I love hearing the perspective of people who are not "official insiders" as you put it. Thank you for your dedication to this cause. Amazing that you were inspired simply by also being a father and by being compassionate. Keep cycling!

congratulations and thank you. As a parent of a 13 year old boy with type 1, I am truly inspired by people like you who are not directly affected by diabetes but still choose to spend many hours and dollars to help others. You are a hero, and inspiration to those who also want to leave this world a better place.

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