All-Diabetes Cycling Team Inspires With Help Of Glucose Monitoring Tech
When Phil Southerland and his all-diabetes cycling team convened at the starting line for the 2006 Race Across America, they carried small doses of insulin and were met with heavy doses of skepticism.
“Good luck,” other riders would say. “We love what you’re doing for charity, and we hope you make it to the finish line.” They made it to the finish line alright — in second place.
In a 3,000-mile tag-team race that lasted more than five days, the eight-person team — known at the time as Team Type 1 — fell short of the fastest overall time by only three minutes. A year later, the mood was different.
“The second year at the starting line, everyone was scared of the diabetic team,” Southerland said. “They knew we were going to win. And we did. We beat the second-place team of professional athletes by three hours.”
In the decade since, Southerland’s squad — now known as Team Novo Nordisk — has grown into a global enterprise of nearly 100 athletes, all of whom have diabetes. The group is spearheaded by the men’s professional cycling team, whose members continually prove that diabetes can be managed in even the most grueling conditions. But none of it would have been possible without some help.
“This team exists because of breakthroughs in technology,” Southerland said. “There’s no question about that.”
The technology to which he’s referring is the continuous glucose monitor, or CGM. Originally commercialized in the late 1990s by the medical device company MiniMed (which was later bought by Medtronic), the CGM consists of two parts: a tin Continue reading