After a serious bout of the flu, Steve Moore was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 28. Initially difficult to accept his diagnosis, Steve realized a few years later it was time to better manage his diabetes through exercising, eating properly, and starting insulin pump therapy. His motivation to improve his diabetes management led him to start his own American Diabetes Association (ADA) Tour De Cure cycle team in Los Angeles (LA).
After my diagnosis, it was very difficult for me to accept I had type 1 diabetes, the same disease that took the lives of both my grandparents. Type 2 diabetes seems to run on my father’s side of the family. The amount of information was quite overwhelming, and I thought it was the end of the world.
I didn’t start out managing my diabetes very well, and it took me a few years after my diagnosis to realize I had to make some serious lifestyle changes to control my diabetes. I had always been active and knew staying physically active was not just good for me, but also good for glucose control, so I started cycling and watched what I ate more closely. Over time, my blood sugars started to stabilize and my A1C began to come down. I was managing and living with diabetes for close to 11 years before I made a big change to switch my insurance from an HMO to a PPO, and started going to a new clinic for my diabetes care. The first thing my doctor did was put me on an insulin pump. I wasn’t real sure about having this device clipped to my belt 24/7, but I went along with my doctor’s instruction. Let me tell you, it was the best decision I have ever made. My only regret is waiting so long to start pumping. I am currently using Medtronic’s 530Gwith Enlite, and am proud to say I have maintained an A1C below 6.5 for the past several years.
I had been living with diabetes for close to 20 years when I saw an ad in a cycling magazine about Tour de Cure, a ride, not a race, organized by the ADA that raises funds for diabetes research and educational programs. I decided it was time to get more involved and be a part of finding a cure for diabetes. With the help of the bike shop I rode out of, I started a Tour de Cure team, Monrovia Cyclists Against Diabetes. This will be our sixth year participating in the Long Beach Ship to Shore Tour de Cure, and we have become one of the premier teams in this event. I have participated in several tour events all over California, and in 2012, rode a century around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the Indianapolis Tour de Cure. There are Tour de Cure events in 46 states, and it’s a great way to get involved and do something good for your health at the same time.
However, partaking in physical activity with diabetes requires preparation and caution. The Long Beach tour has rides from 8 to 100 miles, and riders with diabetes must be prepared. Preparing for each ride has its own unique formula. I always try to start my ride with a blood sugar of 140 – 160 mg/dL, and at least one hour before starting, I turn my basal rate down 60% to as much as 95%, depending on the intensity and effort of the ride. It takes practice and patience. What works for me, may not work for you. Talk with your healthcare team to determine what will work best for you and your diabetes management.
I started getting involved by putting together a cycling team, but it has also opened many opportunities to help others. Living in the LA area, I have developed a close relationship with the LA ADA chapter. I am Co-captain of Lilly’s Monrovia Cyclists Against Diabetes (the team I started), and a member of the Long Beach – Ship to Shore planning committee, Safe at School committee, and ADA Speakers Bureau, and (I want to blow my own horn here) LA ADA 2015 volunteer of the year. If you have diabetes, I hope you are doing well. I know there’s not a moment that goes by where you are not thinking about it. Although we have enjoyed many technology improvements to helping manage diabetes, it still never goes away and weighs heavy day after day. I hope to motivate you. By volunteering and getting involved, you can stay focused on your health, and know you’re not alone in your diabetes management. Diabetes is tough, but it is manageable.
, diabetes diagnosis
, diabetes management
, Tour de Cure