Riding to Cure Diabetes

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT)--Each year the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation supporters join riders from around the world to take on two challenges: raising the money needed to fund research for better treatments and a cure for diabetes, and reaching a personal training goal to prepare for a destination cycling experience.

It's called the Ride to Cure Diabetes. The journey begins by traveling to one of the destination ride locations. Fellow riders meet up and begin a fun-filled weekend including safety seminars, planned excursions, and team building celebrations. It all leads up to the big event, ride day.

Victoria Cumbow

Type one diabetic from Huntsville, Victoria Cumbow has been training for nine months now to participate in the Death Valley, California ride this weekend. While Cumbow says she has never considered herself an athlete, this was an opportunity she could not pass up.

"When I found out about this ride and that JDRF was hosting it--I've been a supporter of JDRF since I was diagnose--it just seemed like a perfect opportunity to set a goal," says Cumbow.

But Victoria Cumbow says for her it is more than just a personal goal of physical endurance. The type one diabetic, diagnosed at the age of eleven says she is on a mission to educate as well.

"A lot of people don't know the difference between type one and type two and type one diabetes is auto-immune so it's nothing that a person does or a lifestyle that causes it it's just a glitch in the body," explains Cumbow, "a virus that comes along and then your pancreas doesn't quite work the right way."

That makes type one diabetics dependent on insulin injections or insulin pump therapy. But Cumbow says she is up for the challenge of managing her blood glucose while riding long distance. Also the $4,000 she has raised through sponsors for diabetes research is a big incentive for her as well. Cumbow works locally with the JDRF Huntsville chapter mentoring other young type ones diabetics. Cumbow says encouraging these young people is perhaps her biggest motivation to ride and raise research dollars.

L-R Katie McManus, Leslie Johnson, Abbie Childs, Victoria Cumbow, Elsie McManus and Ashley Haynes

"I may be doing the ride and I may be the one that trained for it but it's not about me at all," insists Cumbow,"it's about showing the community at large and those teens and those children that I work with, you really can do anything want and that diabetes does not have to limit you. Anybody can do this if I can do this," she says.

After recently reaching her goal of $4,000 dollars from sponsor donations, Cumbow decided she would shoot for $5,000. Click here to donate to JDRF on Cumbow's behalf and to follow her on her journey with type one diabetes. Click here on more information on how you can get involved at any time of the year.