Downhill for Diabetes
The eighth annual Downhill for Diabetes Ski and Snowboard Event is happening from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, February 24, at Pico Mountain Resort in Killington. Participants ski or snowboard to raise money to continue funding research and ultimately come up with a cure for Type 1 Diabetes; 100 percent of the proceeds from the event will be donated to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Participants who don’t ski or snowboard can still register online and donate towards the effort and earn event merchandise; and many people come to the mountain just to support the cause and enjoy the day.
There will be a timed donation race from 10 a.m. to 12 noon, where anyone at the mountain that day can join in for a small donation and earn prizes for the fastest times of the day – including hotel stays, gift certificates and items donated from local businesses. Sign up at the Downhill for Diabetes table on the second floor in the main lodge any time after 8 a.m. If you would like to participate in the event, make sure you register on the website, donationsfordiabetes.org, by Thursday, February 22, so you will be eligible for all event merchandise, discounts and free lift tickets and passes.
“In past years, we have raised well over $125,000 and we hope with your help to keep going until we find a cure for this disease,” Says Lynn Pratt, founder of the event. “Our daughter, Ashley, was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in October of 2010 when she was five years old. We started this nonprofit organization to help spread awareness that a cure for diabetes is within reach. We hope to make a difference by raising funds to help support diabetes research and ultimately find a cure for this disease. This will allow our daughter and all the others like her to lead normal lives.”
Ashley, now 12, is considered a brittle or severe Type 1 Diabetic. Her sugar levels spike and drop quickly, often without notice or reason. She currently has an insulin pump and Dexcom continuous glucose monitor that she wears at all times, and still has to prick her finger multiple times a day to monitor her glucose levels and stay safe. “Many people think this is a day-to-day thing, but it’s not; its hour-to-hour, sometimes minute-to-minute.” says Lynn.
Ashley’s sugar levels have to be monitored through all activity, sports and meals – and even while she sleeps. Her parents wake up multiple times throughout the night to check her levels and give her juice or more insulin when needed. Everything Ashley eats has to be counted up to see how many carbohydrates it contains, and insulin has to be given. “You cannot take a day off, or an hour or even one meal from this disease. It has to be monitored at all times to make sure Ashley does not go too low and have a seizure, or too high and go into shock or a coma,” adds Pratt. “It’s a way of life that we have gotten used to, but hope that someday Ashley will be able to exercise or eat a meal without having to worry about anything.”
To register or donate towards the event, go to donationsfordiabetes.org or contact Lynn at email@example.com. Lynn will be in the lodge all day giving out prizes and event merchandise like shirts, hats, water bottles, sunglasses and more.