Dr. Jones rides for a cure

Published 9:31 pm Saturday, March 17, 2018

The top fundraiser for the 2017 Tour de Cure will once again ride for a cure this April.

Dr. Glenn Jones, assistant professor of clinical internal medicine at the University of Virginia & Eastern Virginia Medical School, was first diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes about a decade ago. Jones said his experience as a doctor helped him identify his symptoms quickly.

“I knew my sugars were borderline,” Jones said in an email. “I had gained weight and was making poor dietary choices, so I asked one of my colleagues to test my hemoglobin A1C blood test, and it was in the diabetic range.”

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He spent years battling his condition with diet and exercise, but he completely changed his lifestyle after he started cycling.

“In the past, I would go on a diet to lose weight, because it was the right thing to do. I would exercise to help in my weight loss goals, but I never enjoyed going to the gym,” Jones said. “Now, because I enjoy cycling so much and I want to improve as a cyclist, I ride as much as I can for exercise and watch my diet so I can keep my weight down.”

He bought bikes for his family in early 2016 so he could spend more time with them. The riding bug grew for him, so he upgraded to a road bike for longer rides. Then his friend, Rich Artese, encouraged him to joined organized riding groups like Tripower Cycling Club in Virginia Beach.

He started riding at a reasonable 20 miles with the club on Saturdays, and his endurance has grown exponentially.

“I am now riding between 150 and 200 miles a week outside or on an indoor trainer, and I enjoy every second on the bike,” Jones said. “I think the camaraderie of my fellow cyclists is a major reason I enjoy riding so much. I also enjoy the challenge of riding further, faster and higher, and seeing real gains in my fitness and abilities.”

His club helped him train for the 2017 Tour, his first 100-mile ride. He also managed to raise nearly $8,000 to become the top fundraiser for the year. He appealed to friends, family and even his patients to raise that sum.

My wife, Trish, is a social media guru, and she was especially persuasive and successful in spreading the word about how the ADA does such good work on behalf of diabetics all over the country,” Jones said.

He will ride this April on the Sentara Medical Group corporate team, which has raised more than $2,000 collectively as of Saturday.

He said his motivation comes from two children he met as a doctor, Jessie and Ann Elizabeth. Jessie was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 8. Now age 11, she’s learned to count carbohydrates and administer insulin injections while living a full life playing basketball, swimming and riding horses in her spare time, according to Jones.

Ann Elizabeth was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2010. She’s looking forward to enhanced medical technology to better control her blood sugars. She’s also a high school senior looking forward to college, according to Jones.

As a physician, I realized how much lifelong support and encouragement they would need to manage their disease and that the ADA not only provides such support to diabetics but is also committed to funding research to find a cure for Type 1 diabetes,” Jones said.

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 $209,317 has been raised as of Saturday.

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