Life sometimes hands you opportunities that are hard to recognize. Finding ways to turn those challenges into opportunities can be a long journey. This is one reason why I ride in the Silicon Valley Tour de Cure, bike ride for diabetes.
The Tour de Cure is coming to Silicon Valley on June 7th, and I will be wearing my Red Rider jersey to signify that I am a person with diabetes. People will shout, “Go Red Rider,” like I am an Olympic athlete, as I make my way slowly up the hills. I will pull out my insulin pump, test my blood sugar, calibrate and readjust, all within about two minutes. My SAP teammates will be by my side, as I am a certified member of this motley crew and we support each other no matter what the challenges. I will be riding 47 miles, supporting this cause that I have a deeply rooted connection to, through scenic Palo Alto and the foothills. Some of the team will ride to the coast and back again. Afterwards, we will gather at our SAP tent, eat, drink and compare our adventures along the way, reflecting on another successful ride.
Seven years ago, Team SAP started riding in the Tour de Cure in Palo Alto. Our captain, Scott Lawley, Director of Digital Marketing, has been our leader virtually every year since. He has persistently led team members in training rides adapted to all skill levels, and has continued to show outstanding leadership. This year our 25-person team has two other red riders, in addition to myself. SAP has supported our efforts through the years with jerseys, a matching donation program and a generous donation to enable us to have a team tent in Palo Alto and represent our company in style alongside other companies in the Silicon Valley.
This year we have the pleasure of introducing out Executive Sponsor, Steve Lucas, Global President of the SAP Platforms Solution Group. Steve is also a Type 1 diabetic and knows the benefits of research and the everyday struggles of dealing with a chronic disease. He and his family are proud to invest time and money into finding a cure for diabetes. As a result of his support, this year we are thrilled to have an East Coast team riding in the Tour de Cure Greater Philadelphia. This team is led by Matt Spohn, Principal with the Chief Customer Office, who is also a former professional racer who has embraced his new tole of captain for this charity ride.
Did you know that in the United States 9.3% of the population has diabetes? This is something SAP has recognized and has taken initiatives to change, and through SAP’s technology, we have transformed the diabetic landscape in many ways. We are the backbone of many diabetes medical technology companies; most with almost zero tolerance for error. In Germany, SAP has partnered with Roche to work with people at risk for Type 2 diabetes. By utilizing the Internet Of Things, software has integrated a fitness tracker and a blood glucose meter to collect data that can be utilized by doctors to provide patients with prompt advice.
As a kid, I was in and out of hospitals on a regular basis and in years past, I hid my blood glucose testing equipment, fearing pity from friends and colleagues. Now I am rarely sick, and I credit my current health to the advances in technology and regular exercise.
SAP is a company who continues to make a difference in the lives of millions of people living with diabetes in the world. And now you can take this opportunity to contribute to the cause! Sign up to ride with us, donate or volunteer, and watch the world continue to improve through the positive impacts of technology. I have seen so many advances, but we are not at the finish line yet. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.