Hundreds of bicyclists are gearing up for the upcoming Tour de Cure. They’ll ride through Niagara Falls on June 2 to raise awareness about diabetes.
In addition to 100 mile, 63 mile, 30 mile and 12 mile bike races, the day will also include a 5k Run and Walk.
Kelsey Lachowski and her family are proud supporters of the American Diabetes Association. “I’ve never let diabetes define who I am. I’ve always just went out there and did it. I started with soccer when I was a young kid, and my favorite sport ended up being basketball,” Lachowski said with a smile. The teen says her faith and her family help her every day.
Her parents, David and Claudine Lachowski, admit they were the ones who were scared when doctors first diagnosed Kelsey when she was three.
“All I could think about was, you don’t know what this means. I know what this means. It’s a life sentence for you,” Claudine recalled.
She thanks God for helping her care for Kelsey. “He would often wake me up in the middle of the night when I needed to test her blood sugar, and often times, I’d run in there and her sugar — they’re supposed to be between 70 and 150 — and sometimes hers would be 40 and sometimes they were 500. I’d intervene, and God would give me grace and help and strength to do that.”
Kelsey now thrives thanks to an insulin pump. She says she definitely prefers the pump to shots. “I only have to change my set every 2 to 3 days, so I’m not taking as many injections which is really nice.”
Counselors at Camp Aspire, near Rochester, helped Kelsey learn how to manage her diabetes. “You won’t have to worry about your diabetes because people are there to help you all the time! And my favorite part was the pool. I loved it there. They did swimming competitions, buddy checks; it was very fun, and it was a great experience,” she recalled.
“Camp aspire was life-changing for Kelsey because it gave us a break as a family – to trust that they could take care of her! And so we want other families to experience that,” Claudine said.
Kelsey’s fundraising at Niagara-Wheatfield High School has helped send other kids to camp. The upcoming Tour de Cure, will also help with that mission by funding research, programs and services.
Kelsey hopes her story offers others inspiration. “Just try everything you can, and don’t let diabetes stop you because really the only person that can stop you is you!”