Along for the ride
Published 3:49 pm Saturday, March 12, 2016
One of the youngest participants of this year’s American Diabetes Association Tour de Cure fundraiser already is well on her way to reaching her goal.
“I want people to feel better,” 8-year-old Caitlin Fears said of why she’s participating. She also has another motive: it will allow her to ride somewhere besides just in her neighborhood.
Caitlin doesn’t have diabetes, but since her mother is a diabetes researcher at Eastern Virginia Medical School, she knows a lot about it.
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“We talk a fair amount about it,” said her mother, Maggie Morris Fears. “Last year after the Tour, one of my friend’s daughters was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. She knows that one of the first symptoms is very frequent urination.”
Caitlin also is keenly aware of what young diabetics have to endure.
“I know that I don’t like needles, and it makes me sad that kids my age with diabetes have to get used to pricking their fingers and injecting insulin,” Caitlin said on her personal fundraiser page. “I hope that by riding, I can help contribute to a cure.”
Caitlin will ride the 25-mile route during the April 30 fundraiser on a trailer-cycle, which attaches to the back of her mother’s bicycle and allows Caitlin her own set of pedals and a rear wheel.
Morris Fears said Caitlin said she wanted to ride in the tour to spend some time alone with her mother. Caitlin has a younger sister who is almost 5 years old.
Morris Fears said Caitlin also had the idea to donate a portion of her birthday money to support the cause and has been telling schoolmates at Nansemond Parkway Elementary School about the event.
“I’m really proud and excited as a parent to see how she is embracing this event,” Morris Fears said.
Caitlin has almost reached her goal, having raised $454 of $500. To visit her personal fundraising page, go to www.tinyurl.com/caitlintour.
The 2016 Hampton Roads Tour de Cure will take place on April 30 beginning and ending at King’s Fork High School. The route options are 10, 25, 65 or 100 miles.
There is a $30 registration fee and a $200 fundraising minimum. The fundraising goal is $450,000, and so far about $92,634 has been raised.
Visit www.diabetes.org/hamptonroadsvatour for more information about the fundraiser.