Youth Ambassadors up for challenge

Published 10:00 pm Monday, March 12, 2018

The last thing a kid wants to do is take time out from coloring, playing with their friends and learning addition to manage a potentially fatal illness.

That’s what a couple of young people from the Tidewater area have had to do in their short lives, but they are surviving and thriving. This spring (spring is coming, we promise!) they will both be Youth Ambassadors at the American Diabetes Association’s Tour de Cure cycling fundraiser.

Madelynn Sershen, 14, of Elizabeth City, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 5. Ryan Setzer, 16, got the same diagnosis at age 7.

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Telling a child that young that their life is about to change can be a hard pill to swallow. They both learned they would have an incurable disease for the rest of their lives before they even learned algebra.

However, Madelynn and Ryan seem to have taken it in stride and are fighting back with their positions as Youth Ambassadors. They hope one day to find a cure for the disease through the money they have raised through the Tour de Cure.

“The Tour de Cure is a great way for everyone — diabetics and non-diabetics — to come together and help,” Ryan said.

We definitely agree, Ryan. You and Madelynn are an inspiration to us.

The 2018 Hampton Roads Tour de Cure will take place on April 28, beginning and ending at the Suffolk Executive Airport. The route options are 12, 30, 63 and 100 miles. There will also be a 5K run and walk for those that don’t wish to ride.

There is a $25 registration fee and a $200 fundraising minimum. The registration fee will go up to $30 on April 1. The fundraising goal is $450,000, and approximately $193,482 has been raised as of Saturday.

Visit diabetes.org/hrtdc or call 424-6662 ext. 3269 for more information.