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american diabetes association

Dave's Diabetes Story on the ADA Blog

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Dave's Diabetes Story on the ADA Blog

'Dave's Diabetes Story on the American Diabetes Association Blog'

I was fortunate to have a story of mine posted on the American Diabetes Association Blog. The link is below.

For the story, I submitted 3 photos.  If you pull up the story you will see my Medtronic Global Hero photo from 2012.  The photo above is from the Boise trail book of which I am a co-author.  It was an incredible experience to have run over 1,000 miles in the exceptional Idaho terrain that we covered.

This photo is from the 2015 El Tour Expo.  I was a new hire to the ADA and this was an event where I promoted our coming Tour de Cure.  I am sporting the Red Rider jersey which highlights riders at the Tour de Cure with diabetes.  

It has been a real honor and inspiration working with these outstanding individuals.

Dave's Diabetes Story

Link to the story.

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The Mission Hits Close to Home

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The Mission Hits Close to Home

The Mission Hits Close to Home

The following was part of a presentation at the American Diabetes Association Mountain Region meeting in Phoenix, AZ on April 20, 2016.  My story was edited and included with encouraging and inspirational stories American Diabetes Association staff from the Mountain Region.  They were: Lynda Jimenez (Phoenix ADA), Beverly Bartel (Montana ADA), Anne Dennis (Phoenix ADA), Hannah Hoogenboom (Denver ADA), Julie Garcia (Phoenix ADA), Kirsten Weatherford (Montana ADA) and Kaylee Gronau (Phoenix ADA) and myself.  All of us either have Type 1 diabetes or have family members who do. 

I believe my first real connection with the ADA was a journey from Seattle, WA to Glacier National Park (Montana) for a backpacking excursion to the Granite Park Chalet.  We actually celebrated Christmas on August 25

th

while at

the Chalet.  This was the last 25

th

on the calendar before they closed for the season.

The Glacier National Park trip might have been the spark I needed to make an entry into the world of adventure and seeking new challenges.  Another tie in with the ADA was the BBAD (Border-to-Border-Against- Diabetes) Tour.  A group ride from the Utah/Arizona border to the Utah/Idaho border.  4 of the 5 riders were T1’s.  The trip was organized to finish the day before the ADA EXPO Salt Lake City where we were involved/featured.

Hannah Hoogenboom’s uncle Peter was on the tour!

I have also been involved with the ADA being the beneficiary in past events.  Two ocean swim events benefiting the ADA in Alaska (10k/5k) made for some interesting experience in event planning!  So glad and fortunate to be working with the American Diabetes Association and to have such  wonderful people helping me out and inspiring participants in our events.

Note:  I am the Market Manager for the Tucson ADA

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You must live in the present...


"You Must Live in the Present"

picture that Trever gave me after the kayak trip


A large framed picture adorns my cluttered office space. It is the picture above, while three kayak warriors camped at beautiful DeGroff Bay, during our amazing 2010 No Limits Destination Alaska Sea Kayak Expedition. Those who know me, probably know that I plant inspirational and meaningful images in my living and work areas. This surprising gift was compliments of wisdom from Henry David Thoreau and the kind thoughtfulness and checkbook of fellow kayaker, bungee jumper, adventurer and card carrying diabetic, Trever Alters. Trev joined guide Scott Harris (Latitude Adventures) and myself on the kayak journey that took us into some secluded waters of Alaska.

Trev and I had crossed paths, amazingly, through bungee jumping when my casa resided in Boise, Idaho. He understands that people with diabetes can lead incredible and adventurous lives. And he lives and breathes it (scuba diving in Puerto Rico in two weeks is another confirmation!). He was a key component to No Limits and our many unique events. Bungee jump and sky diving fund raisers, an adventure racing team, rock climbing, ultramarathons, it was a grand time. Henry David Thoreau sought to rise above common thought and ideas. He would have smiled at our lifestyles.

While I was stoked to receive a lasting memory of our incredible 4 day kayak journey near Sitka, Alaska, it was the Henry David Thoreau quote that made the gift primo.

"You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your element in each moment".

perfect. Thanks Trev.

Trever in Nakwasina Sound

A very non-scientific ratio that is in my notes from the trip and which I cannot prove or disprove, but I had noted that this year's weather was 234% better than the 09 trip of weather horror. Yes, we survived in 2009 and a bloody well yes, we had a good time but Miss Mother Nature was beasty at times.

This year the animals came out to play. Lots of them. This is Alaska! The critter log:

Grizzly Bears - 4

Eagles - vast quantity

Harbor Seal - at least 1

Mink - 1

Commorants - ok I am not a bird person so don't know the count

Porpoise- 1

Sea Lions - a few of the big guys

Jelly Fish - enough for any horror film

Jelly fish touch contest - many close encounters

Trever explores the Neoga near Hallack Point

I set up the video cam to allow each person an opportunity to share their thoughts on the trip, life, diabetes, current girl fiascos, etc. It was just the cam and their thoughts meeting on the shore as daylight slowly faded.

Much after the trip, life settled a bit and I made way to view the footage collected from an excursion awash with excellent company, stories and many kodak moments.

Before the trip, Trever had shared that he was excited about kayaking and that he had wanted to come visit me and to see the Last Frontier. I knew that he had just returned from a trip from Hawaii and in the back of my mind I was slightly jealous of a summer that included Hawaii and Alaska. Little did I know....

As darkness crept foward and the sea slowly lapping the shoreline of DeGroff Bay, Trev would share his angle on life as a person with diabetes, Alaska, etc. The footage rolled forward but Trev took a left turn from his usual fun, optimistic, humorous mood. He would bare his emotions as he dug deep to share the recent loss of his brother Nate. Nate had been hit by a car on March 18, 2010. Trever had planned on visiting him in Hawaii in May or June but that would never happen. He made the trip despite Nate's passing, as a memorial. He spent most of his time in Hawaii hanging out with Drew, Nate's closest friend. The Alaska trip was good timing for Trev as he had to deal with Nate's death amongst other circumstances that made the year a challenge. It is my guess that Trever did not want to share the tough details of what he was going through so that it would not hover or drag down our trip.

My heart fell.

Photo by Scott Harris


In the 35 miles of sea that we paddled through, we explored a shipwreck, went snorkeling, beachcombing, exploring, ate some incredible feasts created by Scott, our great cook/guide, compiled footage for a future film, saw animals galore, managed to get growled at by a bear, tree climbing and absorbing information on diabetes and the great outdoors, in a classroom called Alaska.

We did our best at living in the present....

launching ourselves on every wave.......

finding our element in each moment..... May it continue for a life time.

Scott and I are working on our the next expedition which will be July 16-19 (with a possible extension to July 21). If you are interested and have diabetes or are involved in diabetes care please consider joining us. Contact me at runalaska@yahoo.com.

L to R - me, Scott Harris, Trever Alters at DeGroff Bay ps- Trever is living in the present as he spent this last weekend in remembering Nate. He traveled to Boise, Idaho to unite with family and friends as it was the 1 year anniversary of the accident.

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Hey, I Don't Have to Swim if I am the Race Director

Hey, I Don't Have to Swim if I am the Race Director


(Lake Tahoe)


Last November I stood on the banks of beautiful Lake Tahoe.  I was taken by the setting and was thankful for this quick escape from the business world and meetings that were awaiting me back in Reno.  Some deep breaths, a few snaps of the camera, site seeing, some monstrous pine cones thrown in my bag and we scrambled back on the bus to roll back to Reno.  I was unsettled.  My own scrambled mind filled with goals, dreams and plans of Dan Baier and myself to run around the Lake Tahoe the previous August.  
This dream settled atop my dream bank a few years ago and this past summer, reality and some suffering were due to take us 165 miles around the lake in 8 days.  The run was to have started in King's Beach, California, where I had stood just a few minutes ago and the view of a dream that had dissolved.
As the Tahoe Run loomed, an injury to my left knee had called my name.  Loud and Clear.  I can be a stubborn, determined person who has learned that diabetes can be demanding.  To achieve some of my goals I have to possess a mind-set that goes well beyond demanding.
As the injury screamed at me and began to curse at me, I developed an agonizing limp and I realized that that strong determination was not going to sail me through 25 mile, rugged and difficult days in the Sierra's.  The white surrender flag went up and the dream was shelved.
A trot around Lake Tahoe for diabetes, has been re-assigned to my "bucket list" but for the time being that bucket appears to have a hole in it.  My story will transcend from the trails in the Sierra's to the 54 degree water in Sitka Sound via an ultra swimmer by the name of Claudia Rose.  I would learn about Claudia and her proposed swim across Sitka Sound from John Dunlap, who would provide boat support, Ralph, would follow her in kayak support, Al would be her moral support, Claudia would provide 4.5 hours of swim strokes and I would provide some pictures and an open canvas to continue to etch new experiences.


 (Claudia Rose on her swim across Sitka Sound) 

Those 5 months of knee assault, averaging 2 miles of running a month, were probably the most difficult time in my life.  I would move on (with a limp) and unbeknownst to me, this swim across Sitka Sound would open some doors and present some opportunities that were very different for this adventure seeker.  Whether I was able to run or not.  Living outside the box and outside the brain.

Ok, watching someone swim for 4.5 hours is not super exciting.  Inside Dave's mind though I am thinking "this is amazing!".   Endurance-based, 54 degree water, numerous jelly fish stings, no wet suit, 8.5 miles of  cold conditions, shifting current .  How awesome and impressive is this!  I am forever an endurance junkie but for those who might ask, "Hey, I don't have to swim if I am the race director".  And I could not.  I don't swim.  Period.  

This swim lane has opened up and I am excited to offer a new event for the world swim community.  This is a new experience for me.  I seek crazy, unique, ridiculously long, challenging, out-there events to get involved with.  This swim covers all the bases and is for a great cause, diabetes.  No Limits will put the swim on while the American Diabetes Association will host the race and be the beneficiary.
Claudia has helped immensely with details and I have hooked up with the only other open water swim in Alaska (that I am aware of), the Pennock Island Challenge in Ketchikan.  Race Director, Willie Schulz has been very helpful in assisting this new race director.
The Sitka Sound Adventure Swim is 6.2 miles and will be held on August 8, 2010.  I am thinking now of actually acting outside the box, outside the brain and donning a pair of goggles.  Information on the swim are at www.sitkaadventureracing.org.

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