Tour de Cure: a local approach to a global issue

Deirdre Ibsen Portrait - sized (2)Deirdre Ibsen is from Toronto, Canada. She has been a Lilly employee for 25 years and currently serves as the Global Brand Development Leader for Insulin and Devices in the Diabetes Business Unit in Indianapolis, IN. She and her husband, Jeff, have a son and a daughter in college. 

When I returned to Indianapolis from San Diego in 2012, it felt like home – sure, the family was going to miss the coast's sunny beaches but we were looking forward to the sprawl of the Midwest and the friends and family we had here.  I felt grateful for all we had as a family and wanted to give back to the community. What better way to do that than through volunteer work?

I joined the local American Diabetes Association (ADA) board where I’ve been a member for four years and have served as the Chair for three. It’s been an incredibly rewarding experience; the local chapter strives daily to improve the lives of people living with diabetes and I’ve seen firsthand how they make a difference. I’m proud to be working with this group and invite you to get involved in your local communities as well.

Diabetes’ prevalence has made local ADA offices like ours especially important. In 2012, 29.1 million Americans, or 9.3 percent of the population, had the disease. Of this number, 8.1 million went undiagnosed. Community chapters offer the support necessary to address this widespread disease, including through awareness campaigns, patient care and research. Unsurprisingly, fundraising makes all of this possible. 

One of our biggest events is the Tour de Cure, a national cycling series that raises money for diabetes research, information and advocacy. Unlike a traditional race with a single date and location, the Tour de Cure typically attracts more than 60,000 riders across 41 states between March and November. No two events are the same. This allows us reach many different people while becoming directly involved where it counts most: the local community.

Lilly Diabetes has been a national sponsor of the event for 3 years. In 2015 alone, we raised over $220,000 nationally. 735 riders participated on 72 teams across the country, including 232 from Indianapolis.  Since 2013, Lilly Teams have raised over $700,000 nationally and teams from Indianapolis have raised $261,761! And, we’re more eager than ever to make the 2016 Tour de Cure a big success!

2015 Tour De Cure 10-07-15red WEB

As a Lilly employee, I’m particularly proud of our participation. We’ve always been community-minded, whether working to fight tuberculosis in Indian districts or supporting impoverished villages in South Africa. We know that disease – and especially diabetes – care starts with prevention and that prevention begins at home. By raising disease awareness and promoting healthy lifestyles through local events like the Tour de Cure, we can better affect national change and ultimately, end diabetes for good.

Did you notice a new name at the top of this post? LillyPad is proud to partner with a variety of guest bloggers from around the world, and we're committed to hosting a range of viewpoints on our site. However, please note that the views contained in this post belong to its author and are not necessarily endorsed by Lilly.