NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) – The American Diabetes Association put on the Tour de cure today. It was the 26th time that the event was held in Western New York. One special little girl was there today to share her story.
Cecilia Loiacano is a ten year old who has been impacted by diabetes her whole life. She told News 4, “I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when I was one. I can’t remember my life without diabetes.”
Cecilia is only a kid but she has very adult responsibilities. Every day she has to check her insulin levels numerous times to make sure she stays healthy. She said it makes her sad sometimes but she’s accepted this is a part of her life that will never go away. She told News 4, “Even if I do everything perfect I still have days where my blood sugar is too high or too low.”
And she is not alone. Nearly 30 million Americans suffer from diabetes. The Tour de Cure is working to help every single one of those affected. Bob Russel, Area Executive Director for the American Diabetes Association, told News 4, “The Tour de Cure is the largest fundraising event for the American Diabetes Association every year.”
On average this race raises 400-500 thousand dollars in western New York alone. That money is used to research the disease in hopes of finding a cure. It also is used to send kids to camp aspire. Russell said, “One of the hardest things for kids is that they’re different when they have a disease or diabetes, when they go to camp they are surrounded by other kids who are living the exact same life they are.”
They use the camp to help continue education for the children but also to allow them to just be kids.The experience is one that really sticks with a lot of them.
Russel said, “We have campers who started as kids going then they became counselors, we have some now who are physicians who are treating diabetes because that’s how much it impacted their lives.”
Dealing with the disease is not easy, but with the continued research and work that the American Diabetes Association does there’s no doubt that they’re making a difference.Cecelia said, “Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You’ll never know how much I means to me.”