Tour coming this week

Published 6:51 pm Saturday, April 21, 2018

The American Diabetes Association’s Tour de Cure is coming up this Saturday.

If you’ve been paying much attention to the Suffolk News-Herald the past few months, you know a lot about the Tour de Cure. The News-Herald has published a series of stories every Sunday leading up to the event.

The cycling fundraiser leaves from and returns to the Suffolk Executive Airport and features routes of 12, 30, 63 and 100 miles. There is also a 5K walk and run for those who don’t wish to ride, and there will be plenty of educational resources there for folks to find out more about diabetes and other facets of their health.

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The story this Sunday is about a little-known function of the American Diabetes Association. Most folks know the organization works at the local level to educate people on how to prevent and manage the disease. But the organization is also a strong advocate at the national level to urge federal funding of diabetes research and also works to advocate for people who are discriminated against in employment or other areas of life because of their diabetes diagnosis.

Thanks to the full range of the American Diabetes Association’s work, the United States can look forward to a future in which fewer people have diabetes due to better research and education, and those who do have it can manage it better and live a life free from discrimination because of their disease.

Suffolk resident Dr. Maggie Morris Fears is at the forefront of research and advocacy. As an associate professor and diabetes researcher at Eastern Virginia Medical School, Morris Fears is on the front lines of the battle. She also recently was one of a contingent of advocates that lobbied for better research funding in Washington, D.C.

Morris Fears and her 10-year-old daughter, Caitlin, will take on the 30-mile route in the Tour this week, showing that diabetes advocacy can start early and be a lifelong activity.

Everybody who plans to participate in Tour this weekend, whether as a rider, a runner or walker or a volunteer, deserves a round of applause. The money raised will be essential to the continued fight against this disease.