Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - 17

The ride of your life
inside the section
The warning signs of diabetes Page 23 Red Riders take on Tour Page 19

Area businesses jump at change to form teams Page 22

18 - Wednesday, April 24, 2013

tour de cure

TheRecord www.troyrecord.com

Type 1 Diabetes
Results from the body's failure to produce insulin, the hormone that "unlocks" the cells of the body, allowing glucose to enter and fuel them. It is estimated that 5-10 percent of Americans who are diagnosed with diabetes have type 1 diabetes.

From the desk of the director ...
Get ready to take the ride of your life at the Tour de Cure! I would like to extend a personal invitation to you to become part of the Saratoga Springs Tour de Cure on Sunday, June 2, 2013. Register now and help raise awareness and critical funds for diabetes research, education and advocacy in support of the American Diabetes Association, all while having fun and keeping in shape with family and friends. Our event offers a memorable day of cycling through beautiful Saratoga County. Whether you are an occasional rider or an experienced cyclist, there’s a route just for you. Participants have a choice of five courses from a flat 10-mile ride through Saratoga Spa State Park, all the way up to the challenge of the 100-mile century ride. Riders get the personal satisfaction of completing a challenging ride and doing their part in the fight against diabetes. Our routes feature fullYOUNG service rest stops as well as SAG and mechanical support along the way. When you cross the finish line, you will be greeted by cheering volunteers and treated to lunch from Glen Sander’s Mansion, a massage, music and much more! Do you or does someone you know have diabetes? Thousands of people with diabetes participate in Tour as "Red Riders." Red Riders are the reason we ride, and are given a jersey to proudly wear on the day of the event. Beyond this recognition, Red Riders are part of a community that inspires us to ride and raise money to Stop Diabetes.® Joining Team Red is a great way to connect with others supporting a Red Rider or honoring a loved one with diabetes. Tour de Cure participants can earn a variety of exciting gifts! These gifts represent our thanks for funding the mission of the ADA and supporting the 26 million Americans with diabetes. All registered participants raising the minimum $200 will receive a commemorative Tour de Cure t-shirt on the day of the event. Raise $1,000 or more and you automatically become a Champion to Stop Diabetes and can earn exclusive apparel and cycling gear. We’d like to thank our presenting sponsor Empire BlueCross; our premier sponsors Columbia Development Companies, Mazzone Hospitality, Albany Valve & Fitting, Lia Auto Group, Marini Builders, Hodorowski Homes and Fly 92.3; and all of our other generous sponsors. When you ride in Tour de Cure, you take part in something unique. You join the ranks of some of the most passionate people in the country who care about cycling, health and above all finding a cure for diabetes. Learn more at diabetes.org/saratoga. Thank you, Amy R. Young Director, American Diabetes Association

Type 2 Diabetes
Usually results from insulin resistance (a condition in which the body fails to properly use insulin), combined with relative insulin deficiency. Type 2 diabetes accounts for about 90-95 percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes.

Symptoms of diabetes
Diabetes often goes undiagnosed because many of its symptoms may seem harmless. Recent studies indicate that the early detection of diabetes symptoms and treatment can decrease the chance of developing the complications of diabetes. Some diabetes symptoms include: Frequent urination, excessive thirst, extreme hunger, unusual weight loss, increased fatigue, irritability and blurry vision. If you have one or more of these diabetes symptoms, see your doctor right away.

Tour helps people meet personal goals
By Kathryn Caggianelli The Record

Diabetes complications are serious
Increased risk of heart disease and stroke Leading cause of kidney failure Nervous system disease and non-traumatic lower-limb amputations
—Kathryn Caggianelli

SARATOGA SPRINGS — It’s a ride, not a race. That’s how those closest to the American Diabetes Association’s Tour de Cure characterize the annual nationwide, non-competitive cycling fundraiser, which this year locally is slated for June 2 at Saratoga Springs High School. Diabetes — a disease that prevents the body from producing or properly using insulin — affects 25.8 million people, or approximately 8.3 percent of the population. Additionally, it has been diagnosed in 18.8 million people and is undiagnosed in approximately seven million people, according to the American Diabetes

“I knew that if I didn’t make a change I, too, would be on the path to getting diabetes.”
John Guastella

Association. Insulin, a hormone, is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy. There are two types of diabetes: Type 1 — which is found in an estimated five to 10 percent of Americans diagnosed with diabetes — results from the body’s failure to produce insulin and; Type 2 — found in an estimated 90 to 95 percent of diagnosed cases of diabetes in the U.S. – results from insulin resistance or when the body

fails to properly use insulin. The ADA, founded in 1940, provides diabetes research, information and advocacy for people with diabetes, their families and health care professionals, according to www.diabetes.org Cassandra Coyle, a diabetes nurse educator at Memorial Hospital, encourages people of all ages to become educated about diabetes, to maintain a healthy lifestyle and to adopt healthy goals for themselves. “As a diabetes nurse educator, I want people to know that they can control their diabetes and live a healthy life with healthy eating, blood sugar monitoring, medications as needed, exercise and stress reduction,” Coyle said.

“But all this is individual to the person and not easy to understand or do without education. People with diabetes should see a certified diabetes educator to help make changes and learn how to fit diabetes into their lives.” Working with other health care providers is the optimal way to make sense of all the complexities that come with the disease, she said. The Diabetes Eduction Program at Memorial Hospital and the other affiliates of St. Peter’s Health Partners is designed to help people with diabetes succeed in achieving their healthy lifestyle goals, Coyle said. Last year, when Moreau resident John Marcantonio decided to get involved with Tour de Cure for the

first time, he did so as a personal challenge because he’d always wanted to do a long-distance bike ride; the fact that the ride supported a worthwhile cause also weighed in. Marcantonio, 42, is membership director of the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce and knows firsthand the importance of teamwork. “Last year I rode with John Davidson from the Davidson Brothers Brewing Company in Glens Falls,” he said. “John assembled a team of over 50 riders and raised over $37,000. It was cool to train with some people on the team and to get support on the road.”

Cont. on page 24



tour de cure

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - 19

Red Riders endorse importance of Tour de Cure, healthy lifestyle
By Kathryn Caggianelli The Record

Tips for fundraising for the 2013 Tour de Cure can be found at: http://bit.ly/ZlitsK

When Columbia County resident Glenn Oldrich, 41, first learned he had Type 2 diabetes in 2011 he felt completely alone. A retired U.S. Naval officer, Oldrich enlisted in the Navy at age 18 and never paid too much attention to his diet while pursuing his career. Oldrich, who currently owns and operates Glenn O’s Wildlife Nuisance Control in Hudson, served most of his 20-year career in Norfolk, Virginia as a Marine Gas Turbine Mechanic Petty Officer Second Class and was deployed to the Middle East four times; his military career also included three years as a Navy Recruiter in Connecticut. Initially, he turned his focus to diabetes about 11 years ago after learning that his mother Arlene Oldrich had been diagnosed with the disease. “I did some volunteer work with the Tour de Cure as a Ham Radio operator providing communication support between the years of 1997 to 2000,” he said. “In my final year of the U.S. Navy I was myself diagnosed with pre-diabetes and was told to eat a better diet and sent on my way.” However, in June of 2011 he was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, prescribed oral medication and advised again to improve his diet. Being on the receiving end of such a serious diagnosis was not easy for Oldrich. “I felt all alone and did not know where to turn. In January of 2013 I walked into the American Diabetes Association office in Albany,” said Oldrich. “After being given some booklets and a few websites I started doing some research on diabetes and began to realize how important it was to get diabetes under control. Among the booklets was a sign-up sheet for the Tour de Cure. I love cycling


and thought by signing up I might meet more people affected by diabetes.” People with diabetes who opt to ride in the Tour de Cure are known as Red Riders. When Oldrich signed on as a Red Rider and started attending team meetings, he quickly made friends and began to realize that he most definitely was not alone in battling the disease. This year’s event on June 2 in Saratoga Springs will be his first Tour de Cure as a Red Rider. “Diabetes has had a huge impact on my life,” he said. “I never gave much thought to my diet. Now all the foods I used to eat and love I can't eat; bread, pasta, pizza, ice cream is now no-sugar-added and even then it isn't much more than one scoop. I am more active than ever to help my body absorb the glucose that it has.” Oldrich bought a new bicycle to train on and is currently in training for the 50 mile ride. He has had to teach himself about diabetes and only recently got over the embarrassment of testing his blood in front of friends and family. He credits them — and his girlfriend Tammy Knott most of all — for being supportive and helping him get the disease under control. With so many stories similar to Oldrich’s, it’s easy to make an impassioned argument for the ongoing efforts of both the

Tour and the ADA. “The Saratoga Tour de Cure is such an important event because 26 million Americans suffer from diabetes and it’s estimated that by 2050, 1 in 3 American adults will have it if we don’t take preventative measures,” said Sarah Child, a spokesperson for the Saratoga Tour de Cure. Child added that the event raises not only funds, but also awareness and advances the ADA’s mission, which is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all of those affected by the disease. For decades, that mission has helped people like 53-year-old Scott Brennan become informed and make changes for the better. Brennan, an IT supervisor, decided three years ago that it was time to take control of what had been a life-long battle with obesity. Over the years, the Halfmoon resident tried to do his best to eat well and exercise, but lacked the true motivation and nutritional know-how to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. “So many times I made some progress only to slip back to where I was. With the help of a closely monitored diet and a desire to make this time the absolute last time, I found a trainer named Mike from the local YMCA, and we worked together to accomplish my goal of losing 130 pounds,” Brennan said. His trainer asked him to commit himself to the effort “for just three months,” to which Brennan easily agreed. “I figured I could withstand almost anything for three months,” he said. “I stuck to my workout and diet and

almost immediately saw and felt a difference. Once that happened I decided I couldn’t stop and give in.” By committing himself to three months of whatever it would take, Brennan, who was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at age 25, was determined to better manage the disease and reclaim an active lifestyle that his obesity had robbed him of. Bicycling was one of those activities. “So as a sort of reward to myself I found a bike I liked listed on a for-sale website and purchased it,” he said. “I started riding five or 10 miles and then, just like losing weight, I enjoyed it so much I wanted to ride more. I never got to the point of riding all the time or every day, but I do go out about three times a week and ride about 20 miles each time.” It wasn’t too long after starting his riding regimen that he noticed a Tour de Cure poster at a local gym. After doing some research and gaining the support of his family, he decided to become a Red Rider. In 2012 he participated for the first time in the Tour de Cure and rode 50 miles. “I started my own team, which ended up being a ‘team of one.’ But I did raise enough money to make me feel it was

all worth it,” Brennan said. Brennan recalled when he first found out he had diabetes. “I was diagnosed fairly young, at about 25. I had high blood pressure and during a physical to help diagnose that, we discovered my blood sugar was out of whack. The issue of being careful of sugar was pretty easy to overcome. I stopped eating candy and sugar soda, figuring that was all I had to do. I didn’t realize that there was a lot more to managing your diet beyond not eating sugary foods,” he said. “There really was a lack of good information available to me. I recall getting handed a few flyers that talked about diabetes, but it seemed so ‘casual’ and so I treated it the same way.” The awareness raised by the Tour de Cure is really making a difference. And the combined work of all the riders advances the effort exponentially, Brennan said. “When I decided to do the ride for the first time last year, I found out two people on my immediate team at work have diabetes,” he said. “I want people to know that doing this ride is not impossible and that diabetes affects more of their friends and loved ones than they realize.”

Photo provided Glenn Oldrich, who is participating in the Tour de Cure as a Red Rider.

20 - Wednesday, April 24, 2013

tour de cure

TheRecord www.troyrecord.com

On a mission to find a cure
Photos provided

Photos from the 2012 Saratoga Tour de Cure. This year’s event will be held June 2. For more information, visit www.diabetes.org/Saratoga



tour de cure

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - 21

22 - Wednesday, April 24, 2013

tour de cure

TheRecord www.troyrecord.com

Businesses jump at opportunity to support Tour
By Francine Grinnell The Record

Like those of many chronic diseases, the statistics on diabetes can be intimidating. Diabetes affects the lives of 25.8 million Americans, or 8.3 percent of the population. On June 2, riders of all skill levels will participate in the American Diabetes Association’s 2013 Saratoga Springs Tour de Cure. The organization’s major annual fundraising event is being held again in the hope of defeating the disease and those odds once and for all. The Association has been funding innovative research to combat diabetes since 1955. In 2010, the ADA funded more than $34 million in research at 125 leading research institutions throughout the country. Starting in the parking lot of Saratoga Springs High School, the ride — not race — offers options suitable for everyone who accepts the challenge. From a leisurely 10-mile route all the way to the 100-mile Century ride, riders are encouraged to execute the route of their choice at a speed that is comfortable. The 10-mile ride is on flat terrain, through Saratoga Spa State Park; the 25mile and 50-mile have increasingly moderate hills to climb, and the 100-mile ride is for the experienced cyclist who doesn’t mind a challenge. In 2012, 2,009 riders registered with 250 volunteers supporting them. As diverse as the riders are, whether individual

“When my daughter was 7 years old, she did the 10 mile ride the first year. If she can do it, anybody can”
thousand riders, gave them pasta, salad and bread so they had the carbs they needed. After doing that, I got involved with the ADA organization. Last year was the first year Mazzone Hospitality had a team. We got to spend time with people who work for us, and they were really into it. I rode 25 miles myself and had only trained to ride for 10, but my son said, ‘Dad, we’re going for 25 miles.’ It was amazing to see the turn out. We’re very happy to be involved in the Saratoga Springs Tour De Cure,” said Mazzone. Kivort Steel Cycling Team (KSCT) of Waterford is the number one Tour de Cure fundraising team in New York state, and the third highest in the country in its category. The team, headed by President Robert Kivort and partner Michael Polishchuk, has grown from 10 riders to 168 riders in 2012. The team has raised over $300,000 for the ADA in the last three years. “I had no idea what getting involved seven years ago would lead to. At the invitation of our co-captain Dave Canfield, I rode in the event. The camaraderie and organization of the event impressed me, and I had a wonderful experience. It was for a good cause and I decided to sponsor
Robert Kivort
President, Kivort Steel

Francine Grinnell photo Angelo Mazzone, of Mazzone Hospitality, who is chairing the Saratoga Springs Tour de Cure this year.

or corporate team members, over 2,000 riders claim a common bond in that many have powerful personal accounts that motivated a desire to serve. Year after year, many return in pursuit of coming that much closer to a day when the victory ride against the disease occurs. In the 2013 Saratoga Springs Tour de Cure, the ADA and its corporate sponsors continue to create a win-win situation for all involved. As well as encouraging community service, the Tour offers an opportunity to expose a corporate brand to a targeted audience, to gain media coverage, and build community rela-

tions while supporting a worthy cause. Corporate teams participating in the Saratoga Springs Tour de Cure are Kivort Steel Cycling Team, Team Ellis Medicine, Team Rudy, First Niagara, Team Vent Fitness, Albany Medical College, Northeastern Fine Jewelry, Bonded Concrete, Empire Blue Riders, and ASML. Chairing the Saratoga Springs Tour de Cure for his first year is Angelo Mazzone, of Mazzone Hospitality. “We’ve been involved with for the last six years. We fed the riders after the ride at the Saratoga Springs High School. We provided lunch for a couple of

a team.” At first, the Kivort Steel team was small, with six employees participating, three of whom actually rode. This year Kivort hopes to have 200 riders. “I’m almost embarrassed to say that it didn’t occur to me that my own brother is challenged by Type 1 diabetes and that realization was a driver for me. It made it personal,” said Kivort. Red Rider Jim Anderson of Guilderland will participate for the second year on the Kivort Steel team. “In May of 2011, I started a journey to lose some weight. I had been told I had Type 2 diabetes and was outright sick. My doctor sat across the table from me and said I wouldn’t be able to control it with a change in diet and would be dependent on medication for life. I decided that wasn’t going to happen. I’ve lost 100 pounds at this point,” said Anderson. Having always been a cyclist, he found a pamphlet at his gym about last year’s event. Anderson logged 1,300 miles last year and is shooting for 2,000 this year. “It’s great to ride for yourself, but having others to ride for is something else,” said Anderson. Kivort and Anderson say that the most important thing to remember

is that the Tour is not a race. “We are here to raise money for ADA and to have a family fun day,” said Kivort. KSCT has been the top corporate fundraiser for the last two years. “When my daughter was 7 years old, she did the 10 mile ride the first year. If she can do it, anybody can” Kivort said. For a second year, Empire Blue Cross, in Albany is sponsoring a corporate team. Director of Sales Joseph Center has felt from the beginning that sponsoring and participating in the Tour de Cure was in keeping with Empire Blue Cross’ declared mission to improve the lives of the people and the communities his company serves. Center captains the Empire Blue Riders, comprised of 34 riders and another 25 volunteers. “To be honest, it’s a great experience. I’ve always believed in leading by example. I worked out regularly, but with weights and cardio equipment. I didn’t know how I’d find the time, but I decided to go for it.” Center had the old mountain bike he rode when he was a student at Albany State tuned up, and took some tips from others. He planned to ride 10 miles and rode a full 25.

Cont. on page 24



tour de cure

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - 23

Cost of diagnosed diabetes reaches billions of dollars
By Diana Denner The Record

ALBANY – Diabetes is more than a health threat affecting millions of American children and adults. The financial strain has the potential of harming our country’s economic well-being said Dr. Greg F. Gerety, MD of The Endocrine Group, LLP in Albany. “The total cost of diagnosed diabetes in the U.S. in 2012 is estimated to be $245 billion, which includes $176 billion for direct medical costs and $69 billion in reduced productivity,” Gerety said. He is the founder of The

Endocrine Group Tour de Cure team that will be joining thousands of Red Riders June 2 in Saratoga Springs to raise money for the American Diabetes Association (ADA) to help find a cure for diabetes. The epidemic of obesity in the past 20 to 30 years is attributable to the epidemic of diabetes, Gerety, who is a former president of ADA New York state affiliate, said. “We now eat more calories, our portion size is larger, we eat more fast food, we less frequently eat as a family unit and the soda and snack food industry is thriving,” he said.


“Healthy eating is more time consuming and expensive. We’re far less physically active, spending less time with outdoor play and more time on the computer, Smart phone or [watching] television.” Diabetes is a disease

of high blood sugar since the pancreas does not produce enough insulin. In Type 1 diabetes, the body has an immune dysfunction, unable to produce insulin, which affects 5 percent of children and young adults. The most common form is Type 2 diabetes that has impacted millions of lives. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported how 79 million Americans have pre-diabetes and 90 percent do not know it. To safeguard your health, it is important to take preventative measures, know the symptoms and understand

the warning signs of diabetes that can lead to major health complications if left untreated. For children and young adults with Type 1 diabetes the signs and symptoms are frequent thirst and urination, unexplained weight loss and increased level of irritability and fatigue. Some might experience nocturia, which is excessive urinating at night. In young children, bedwetting is a common occurrence. “If or when these signs and symptoms become associated with nausea and vomiting then a medical emergency known as diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) may

be present and immediate medical evaluation in hospital emergency department called for,” Gerety said. The symptoms of Type 1 diabetes may manifest more at night when people are in a downtime mode than during the day. The signs can be less noticeable following exercise yet more prevalent after eating. Although Type 1 diabetes shares common warning signs as people with Type 2 diabetes, Gerety cautions that these symptoms can be subtle or non-existent. “There are 5 million

Cont. on page 24

Goal of $1.2M for Tour within reach, staff says
By Diana Denner The Record

ALBANY — The American Diabetes Association has been working its way around the Capital District lately with a number of fundraisers aimed at raising not only money, but also awareness for a disease that affects millions of people across the U.S. One of their biggest events is still to come, however, as the 2013 Saratoga Tour de Cure will take to the streets in early June. So far, 141 teams are signed up for the different bike routes June 2 with a fundraising goal of $1,250,000 at Saratoga High School. Among those participants are more than 1,500 Red Riders, children and adults diagnosed with diabetes who participate in the cycling event that draws thousands to Saratoga County. “Our goals have grown every year,” said Amy Young,

director of Albany and Central New York ADA. “Through the dedication of riders and volunteers, our planning committee and executive committee, our goals have seen a 25 percent growth.” Saratoga Tour de Cure offers participants the chance to volunteer, do their share in the fight to find a cure for diabetes while experiencing the thrill of completing a difficult ride: 10 mile, which is family fun ride, 25 mile, 50 mile, 62.5, Metric Century Ride, 100 mile known as the Century Ride or the Indoor Spin event that takes 1 to 3 hours to finish. Whether you’re a novice or an expert cyclist, ADA has a route that matches your ability and comfort level in addition to offering full-service rest areas. Ranked first in the state and third out of 90 tours in the nation, The Saratoga Tour de Cure is part of a nationwide cause to stop dia-

betes and alter the future of the 26 million Americans diagnosed with the disease. When participants cross the finish line will be cheered on and treated to lunch at Glen Sander’s Mansion. “We raised more than a million dollars last year with 2,000 cyclists that day and over 200 volunteers,” Young said. “Red Riders receive a special derby at the day of the event. Saratoga Tour de Cure motivates and builds relationships. People get together and talk about living with diabetes.” Committed to funding research to prevent, cure and manage diabetes and publishing scientific findings, ADA has been striving to improve the lives of people affected by diabetes since 1940. Their strategic plan, according to Young, calls for an expansion in the diabetes research. “Over $33 million was donated last year for research

nationally; 12 million over the past five years has been funded in New York state,” she said. “The first glucose meter was developed through research.” The non-profit volunteerdriven organization has hundreds of volunteers in Albany and Central areas that encompass 11 different counties which include Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Fulton, Montgomery, Greene and Columbia. ADA provides services to the community and publicizes vital information and latest developments from the scientific community to the general public about the disease. They are advocates to those denied their rights because of their affliction with diabetes. “In February, ADA goes to the state capitol with our lobbyists for the current movement at the time,” Young explained. “ADA lobbied

against Panera Bread so people can be aware of how many calories they are eating [listed on the menu] at restaurants.” During November, National Diabetes month, and at other times in the year, ADA offers educational seminars and hosts health fairs. To promote the worksite wellness movement Young said they are offering a free program. Stop Diabetes at Work educates people with four different videos on how to prevent diabetes and living a healthy life. Children that reside in New York state are invited to stay at Camp Aspire during the summer situated on 133 acres of land at the Rotary Sunshine Campus, 15 miles from Rochester. The overnight camp has modern year-round cabins, nature trails, fishing pond, athletic fields and an Olympic size swimming pool

Cont. on page 24

24 - Wednesday, April 24, 2013

tour de cure
By late last month, this year’s recruitment number of riders on the Davidson Brothers Brewing Company team was 50, according to Louis Christiano, team organizer. The ADA’s Tour de Cure crew made the fundraising piece of the challenge easy by providing a great ride and support right down to the rest stops along the way where cyclists refueled, Marcantonio said. But perhaps the most important piece of the fundraiser for him was the knowledge that by personally challenging himself, he was helping to raise money to fight a disease that afflicted a few of his friends – and then was stunned by how many of his friends supported his ride financially because they too had loved ones or friends with diabetes. “Getting involved increased my education about diabetes, but also opened my eyes to the number of people in my life impacted,” Marcantonio said. “I had no idea!” Marcantonio set a goal last year to ride the Metric Century (65 miles) and raise $500; he succeeded by completing the ride in the time he allotted for himself. He credits the

TheRecord www.troyrecord.com

people in this country that remained undiagnosed,” he said. Other warning signs for Type 2 diabetes include frequent infections, blurred vision, cuts or bruises that are slow to heal, tingling or numbness in the hands and feet, premature coronary heart disease and reoccurring genitourinary (GU), skin, gum or bladder infections. Doctors recommend people with Type 2 diabetes get a flu shot because they are susceptible to catching colds more than the rest of the general population. “High blood glucoses, aka hyperglycemia, can impair the immune response to infection and independent of immune status also create a welcome environment for infecting organisms,” Gerety said. “The body’s stress response to infection, whether viral as with the flu, bacterial as with urinary tract infection or pneumonia, or fungal as with yeast vaginitis or balanitis may further contribute to preexisting hyperglycemia or explain new hyperglycemia in individuals with diabetes who typically has good glucose control.” Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) affects 18 percent of women who are pregnant. Excessive fetal growth and size for gestation age is a common warning sign. Other symptoms such as frequent thirst and urination are secondary to hyperglycemia. With the help of Medical Nutrition Therapy as the foundation of treatment, GDM in pregnant women will more than likely disappear, Gerety said, at the time of delivery. Unfortunately, 30 to 40 percent of women with GDM are likely to develop Type 2 diabetes within a decade. Being overweight is a definite risk factor for developing diabetes; but family history, ethnicity, age and a combination of genetic (nature) and environmental (nurture) factors also are a part of the equation. With 8.3 percent of Americans diagnosed, diabetes is a serious disease; however there are effective preventable measures such as diet, exercise and treatment options that can reduce the risk of developing diabetes. For more information about diabetes visit www.diabetes.org and take the Type 2 diabetes risk test.

Photo provided John Marcantonio with his son, Christopher.

with medically trained staff and professionals. By the end of the summer vacation, Young said each camper will know how to do their own insulin shot. Acronym for “Always Sharing Priceless, Inspirational and Rewarding Experiences,” Camp Aspire wants kids to feel at ease in a close-knit community where having diabetes is the rule and not the exception. For general information about ADA visit www.diabetes.org. To register or volunteer for the Saratoga Tour de Cure visit www.diabetes.org/saratogatour, call 518218-1755 ext. 3606 or email Denise Nicastro at dnicastro@diabetes.org.

generosity of friends and family for his success in raising more than $1,000. “I had such a good time and was so inspired by all of the participants that I will be back this year,” he said. Ironically, the Tour de Cure challenge was also a way for Mercantonio to face some demons from the past. “I used to ride when I was a kid and at age 16 had a serious accident on my bike – I got hit by a car, almost died, had emergency surgery and spent four months rehabbing from injuries,” he said “I had given up cycling, but riding a century was always a life goal. Last

year I got serious, invested in a new bike, trained for the summer and have signed up to achieve my ‘bucket list’ goal on June 2, when I hope to raise another $1,000 for the ADA.” In 2012, Delmar resident John Guastella, 47, rode in his first Tour de Cure in honor of his father Vincent Guastella who died in 2001 from diabetes. Guastella, a Long Island native, is a triathlete and an Ironman, having competed in Lake Placid in 2011. Even though the rigors of a long-distance bike ride are nothing new to him, Guastella values the idea behind such an important fundraiser.

“Several years ago I lost about 60 pounds and began participating in Triathlons. In 2011, I completed IRONMAN Lake Placid. I’m also doing it this year,” he said. “I knew that if I didn’t make a change I, too, would be on the path to getting diabetes.” The decision to participate in the Tour de Cure was a poignant reminder of how exacting a toll diabetes takes, as well as a way for Guastella to take a proactive approach to his own predilection to the disease that had claimed the life of his father. “Last year I did the Tour De Cure Century ride, raising well over $1,000,” Guastella said. “It was extremely rewarding and I have pledged to my family that I will complete the Century Ride every year from now on in my Father’s memory!” Diabetes is one of the most controllable diseases, and the money raised through the ADA has already made great strides in prevention and treatment, said Guastella, who is president of the Bethlehem Tri Club (www.bethlehemtriclub.com) and owner of OUR TOWNE Publishing in Delmar.

Center said the ride is a great team building experience at Empire Blue Cross. The company provides jerseys and t-shirts for the riders, and when weather permits, team rides are planned after work to prep for the Tour de Cure in June. “It turned out

that I feel driven by the enthusiasm of our volunteers. I’m big on setting goals; we hope to have 40 riders this year and to surpass the $11,000 we raised last year by reaching $15,000 for ADA. You don’t have to have a special bike to ride. You can even borrow a bike for the day. After the ride last year, I began to ride

from my house in Altamont to my gym and home. Now it’s become a part of my own fitness routine ” said center. The Empire Blue Riders hope to keep the team spirit of the ADA Tour de Cure rides alive all year long.