On Saturday, people from all over Upstate New York will be riding bikes to help the more than 30 million Americans living with diabetes.
John and Lynda Parsons are doing their first bike ride of the year at Onondaga Lake Park.
“It’s just been a fun way to get some exercise and get out together and get away from everything, although we still have our phones," said John Parsons, the EVP of Parsons and Associates.
In their helmets, the two, who just celebrated their 27th wedding anniversary, have microphones.
“We talk about our kids, we talk about what’s going on," John said. "Sometimes we don’t talk at all, we just enjoy being out riding."
But they’re riding for more than just fun.
What You Need To Know
- Over 30 million Americans are living with diabetes
- The Tour de Cure is a series of fund-raising cycling events held in 40 states nationwide to benefit the American Diabetes Association
- The Upstate NY Tour de Cure will be held on Saturday, June 12
“The physical activity is what keeps the diabetes in check the most," John said.
John has Type 2 diabetes. He found out in 1995. He didn’t get into cycling until 2014, when he bought a bike from Syracuse Bike.
“On the counter, they had a brochure for the Tour de Cure," John said.
That first year, he rode 28 miles in the Tour de Cure, a series of fundraising cycling events held across 40 states to benefit the American Diabetes Association.
“The biggest thing about the Tour de Cure, aside from the fundraising aspect of it for all of the good things that we talked about that, that does is to raise awareness," John said. "Beecause there is a lot of people that don’t know they have diabetes."
This year’s event this weekend is virtual. Back in John’s office, he explains what a typical diabetic has to keep track of every day.
“When you eat, you put in what your glucose level is, or if you didn’t have a glucose sensor, you can use finger sticks," John said.
It’s a lot for Lynda too, especially when scary moments happen.
“He gets very cranky when he’s having a sugar crash, and he’ll get shaky," said Lynda, the vice president at Parsons and Associates says.
That’s why the pair is so passionate about the Tour de Cure.
"They keep coming out with more technology that makes it easier to manage it, but it’s not a cure," John said. "A cure would be more ideal because you wouldn’t have to deal with all of it."
They're doing their part to help find a cure for this disease that affects just over 10% of the population.