Fitness enthusiasts who are passionate about finding a cure for diabetes are putting their bike riding skills to good use. From various meeting points across the country, riders are joining in the American Diabetes Association's (ADA) national fundraiser, Tour de Cure.
In April, Torrance Memorial Medical Center was a major contributor to this event, raising $12,000. Thirty-seven employees from Torrance Memorial participated as riders, and 15 volunteers handled registration, set-up and entertainment. "We utilize the resources of the ADA regularly in our work, so it was very important for me to be involved," says Mary Jane Bouman, RN, manager of Outpatient Diabetes Care and Cardiac Rehabilitation and a member of the hospital's riding team.
"Bouman's group of friends and employees prepared for the event months ahead of time by meeting every Wednesday evening at 5:30 p.m. for a group bike ride from the hospital into the Palos Verdes area. "We've had so much fun cycling together, we continue to ride every Wednesday night and welcome new riders," says Bouman.
"Fitness is my passion," she raves. "I'm an exercise physiologist as well as a nurse. Helping people incorporate fitness into their lives is what I love, and so helping both our patients and our employees do this is great." In fact, participating in the Tour de Cure launched Bouman into becoming a competitive cyclist.
One can participate in the Tour de Cure fundraiser in increments of 11-, 30-, 60- or 100-mile rides. It is the premiere fundraiser of the ADA, with 80 tour events and 43 states participating. LA riders experience the unique privilege of riding over the two port bridges of Long Beach and San Pedro, which are generally not open to pedestrians.
Employee Dianna Gardner describes her experience riding in Tour de Cure as "amazing." "I have been doing spin class for about a year and a half, so I was encouraged by my trainer and coworkers to challenge myself for this event. I feel I made a difference in society for a great cause."
Marie Herbrandson, RN, ICU manager, rode in support of her brother Martin, who has had type 1 diabetes since age 17. But she never anticipated "how much fun" it would be. "The best part was making new friends. The camaraderie with the Torrance Memorial team is fantastic."
Exercise and a healthy diet are two preventative measures one can adopt to help prevent developing diabetes or to keep it under control if one is diabetic. Tour de Cure participants are actively lowering their own risk factor for developing diabetes, while positively impacting the possibility of finding a cure.
For detailed information about Tour de Cure, visit tour.diabetes.org. Better yet, contact Mary Jane Bouman at
firstname.lastname@example.org and sign up to ride with the group on Wednesday nights to learn first-hand about the experience.