Groups to help with Tour de Cure

Published 10:05 pm Saturday, April 12, 2014

Among the many volunteers during the American Diabetes Association’s Tour de Cure on April 26 will be several community groups.

Ruritan clubs, churches and small businesses will host rest stops, provide support along the routes and assist riders at King’s Fork High School, which will be the starting and ending point for the fundraising ride. Even the KFHS band will get into the act by welcoming riders back with a rousing selection of music.

Among the groups assisting will be the Western Tidewater Medical Reserve Corps, which has marshaled its resources to provide basic first aid support at each rest stop along each of the four routes for the fund-raising ride.

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“We do it because of the diabetes,” coordinator Jim Steil said. “Diabetes is so prevalent, and it’s an awareness thing. We’re promoting one of our community partners.”

Steil said the organization will have between one to three volunteers at each rest stop. Two volunteer leaders — one a registered nurse, the other a pharmacist and emergency medical technician — will each take responsibility for half the route.

A CPR certification course and first aid course have been held recently to ensure all of the organization’s volunteers are up to date on their training.

“For some of them, this is the third year in a row they’ve done it,” Steil said. “Some of them, this is the first time.”

He said the training, education and outreach opportunity was too good to pass up, in addition to the opportunity to bring attention to a disease that affects more people every year.

“It just keeps getting worse,” Steil said. “We want people to see it is controllable.”

For more information on the Medical Reserve Corps, call 514-4768.

Another group helping out is Hands On Massage, which will be a welcome site for tired riders at the end of the route.

“We close down the shop to do it,” said Sheila Slocum, owner of Hands On Massage. “I have a lot of family members and a lot of clients that have diabetes.”

Slocum and her staff close down the shop to support the American Diabetes Association and give massages to the riders.

“They come up hurting,” Slocum said of the riders at the end of the tour. “They come up with their legs spasming and hurting.”

Slocum said the riders appreciate the massages, especially outdoors.

“It works out really good,” she said. “It’s great massaging outside.”

This year’s Tour de Cure will take more than 1,000 riders on one of four routes throughout the city — 10, 30, 65 or 100 miles.

Participation requires a $25 registration fee and $200 fundraising minimum. Participants can form teams or ride as individuals, and all that’s required is a bicycle and helmet.

For more information on Tour de Cure, visit www.diabetes.org/hamptonroadsvatour or call Amie Holman at 424-6662 ext. 3276.