June Tour de Cure for diabetes a family affair

Stephanie Carr (in red, behind sign) and Team “Steph’s Pedal Power” will ride again in 2010. Photo courtesy Jim and Lois Carns

The following story originally appeared in the May 26 edition of The Press.

Sheffield Village

Sheffield Village resident Lois Carns and 15 family members make up “Steph’s Pedal Power,” a bicycling team that will ride in the annual Tour De Cure fundraising event for the American Diabetes Association at Blossom Music Center June 13. Carns is captain of the team named for her granddaughter. Stephanie Carr, 10, is a fourth-grade student at Eastview Elementary School in Avon Lake as well as a Type 1 diabetic.

The northeast Ohio Tour De Cure is also a tour of the Cuyahoga River valley.

The Tour De Cure is a bicycling event on a grand scale, but it is also an event designed to raise funds for diabetes research and to raise public awareness of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes and the many complications of the disease that affects 23.6 million Americans.

Since 1991, Tour De Cure has grown to include events in 43 states, with Tour De France champion Greg Lemond acting as honorary chairperson. Last year, more than 40,000 cyclists in 80 tour events raised nearly $17 million to support the mission of the ADA: to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of people affected by diabetes. The goal for the 2010 northeast Ohio Tour De Cure is to draw 700 riders and raise $250,000 for diabetes research.

“We ride to make awareness of the importance in finding a cure for Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes,” Carns said. “We are a family team that rides to support my granddaughter, Stephanie, who has had Type 1 diabetes since 2006. Stephanie will be a Red Rider again.”

Riders who have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes are called Red Riders. They wear red jerseys, and receive special recognition. This year Stephanie is also the advocate for Type1 diabetes for the 2010 ride at Blossom.

“Our team is made up of grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, Stephanie’s parents and sister,” Carns said. “We number 15 in all. One uncle comes from Columbus; two cousins, an uncle and an aunt come from Toledo to ride. Steph’s Pedal Power finished in seventh place in fundraising at last year’s ride. We are always looking for more supporters, both as a contributor for our cause and/or as a rider on our team.”

The tour is a ride, not a race, with routes designed for everyone, from the occasional rider to the experienced cyclist. Riders will travel a route supported from start to finish with rest stops, food to fuel the journey and fans to cheer them on while they enjoy the  scenery of the Cuyahoga Valley. Rides and routes are tailored to match the cyclists’ skills, featuring a 62-mile championship ride (starting at 8:30 a.m.), two 30-mile (Difficult and Moderate) rides, a 12-mile Fitness ride and a two-mile Family Fun Ride (starting at 10:30 a.m.).

Check-in starts at 8 a.m. for the Championship Ride, 10 a.m. for the Family Fun Ride. All of the rides start and finish at Blossom.

“Stephanie will be riding the 30-mile course with her dad, uncle and cousin,” Carns said. “The rest of us will ride the 12-mile. This will be my fifth ride.”

The registration fee is $25. Each cyclist must raise the minimum requirement of $150 in order to ride. Registration fees do not count towards the fundraising minimum requirement and are nonrefundable and non-transferable. For more information about the National Tour De Cure, call (888) DIABETES, ext. 6765.

To support the team as a sponsor, contact Carns at (440) 934-2121 or online at JCarns@roadrunner.com.

Contact John Edwards at news@2presspapers.com

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