Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Reason

We are always aware of the reason we participate in the Ride to Cure Diabetes. But sometimes that reason is brought into sharp focus. Today was one of those days. We went to a memorial service for Bill Andro who passed away last Thursday due to complications of diabetes.

Bill Andro and family

When I first starting serving on the local JDRF Board of Directors Bill Andro was already a fixture. He dealt with his own Type 1 diabetes for over 30 years and was a great advocate for JDRF. Bill had a great sense of humor and was a joy to be around. Later I met his children, Sarah and Rob, who became friends and riding buddies. Sarah was part of the first West Michigan Ride Team to tackle Death Valley in 2005. Rob joined us in 2006. They were riding not only for their dad, but also Sarah's daughter Sophie, who was diagnosed with Type 1 at 2 1/2 years old.

The Andro family has been an inspiration to the entire Ride Team. We all have our personal reasons for doing this ride. This week we got another lesson in the importance of what we are doing. Insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors improve the lives of those with diabetes, but that's not a cure. Until we find a cure a person with Type 1 has increased risk of complications including loss of eyesight, nerve damage and amputation. Plus a life expectancy of 15 years less than a non-diabetic. Bill Andro was only 62 years old when he passed away last Thursday from diabetes.

Please remember Bill, his wife Phyllis and Rob and Sarah in your prayers. And help us in any way you can to find a cure for this disease. It truly is a matter of life and death.

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