It’s misunderstood and getting it is just plain bad luck. It has nothing to do with your lifestyle, your weight or your diet. You can’t take a break from it, ignore it or let your guard down -- one misstep and it’s too late. There isn’t a cure, and it changes your life -- every day, every hour, everywhere -- forever. It’s Type 1 Diabetes, and that’s what Tracey Hinrichs wants you, me and everyone to know about it. It’s knowledge that came too late to save her son’s life, but knowledge that may help us save someone else’s life.
On September 7, Tracey and her husband Scott will take part in the Lake Tahoe leg of the JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes. It’s not the first year they’ve participated in one of the many JDRF bicycle rides across the country, and chances are it won’t be the last. While they ride for all families affected by the illness, foremost on their mind will be Tracey’s son, Brandon DeRosa, who was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 2007 at age 15 and passed away in 2010 due to complications with the disease.
As part of the JDRF Southwest Ohio team, the Hinrichs are personally acquainted with around 25 families who have all lost children to Type 1 Diabetes. Powernet has joined the Hinrichs (their business, Enrollment Benefit Concepts, LLC is a Powernet client) and the other riders as a team sponsor, donating $1,000 to assist in the fight against a too-often-overlooked disease.
“Type 1 Diabetes is a killer and people simply aren’t educated about it,” Tracey explained. “The JDRF ride isn’t about focusing on the ‘death’ aspect, it’s more to bring attention to poor education in the community and in our schools regarding Type 1 Diabetes.
“We were so uneducated when Brandon was diagnosed, but we had to learn how to help him. When he was at college, the people around him were uneducated, so when things went wrong, he didn’t get the care he needed.”
Spearheading the effort to raise awareness and and funds for treatments and a cure is JDRF, a top-rated charity by Forbes, Wall Street Journal, Better Business Bureau, and the American Institute of Philanthropy, just to name a few. Its Southwest Ohio chapter includes more than 4 million people across 43 counties in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky.
“JDRF is a fantastic organization that we’re pleased to support,” says Allison Stevens, Powernet CEO. “There are too many stories like Tracey’s, and to see the resolve of those who have suffered tragedy at the hands of Type 1 Diabetes is inspiring. They want to make a life-saving difference for others, and we want to help them do just that.”
The Ride to Cure Diabetes program runs year-round with six destination rides held in various locations across the country from July to November. To donate to a rider or register to ride yourself, you can visit the JDRF Ride home page here.