Mavic Haute Route Riders Raise $50,000 for the Team Type 1 Foundation
“Exercise is the billion dollar drug that never gets prescribed,” says Phil Southerland, founder of the Team Type 1 Foundation. For the millions of people living with type 1 diabetes worldwide, education, exercise, and reliable access to medical supplies are crucial for saving lives. And TT1’s fundraising efforts and programs continue to inspire and enable those with diabetes to better manage their disease.
Eleven riders participating in the Mavic Haute Route Rockies in support of the Team Type 1 Foundation raised $50,000 for the cause, including Southerland, David Crowe, Stephen Dickinson, Rupert Waterhouse, John Martin, Carolyn Audlilet, Sean Hillock, Kevin Liberacki, Dan Holt, Charlie Rowland, and Matthew Mack. While all members of the Team Novo Nordisk professional cycling team are living and competing with type 1 diabetes, athletes supporting the TT1 Foundation at Mavic Haute Route Rockies have a variety of connections to the cause.
Stephen Dickinson’s wife is his inspiration for raising funds for the TT1 Foundation. “I took a break from cycling, and I was walking in a grocery store one day, and for whatever reason they had a road bike magazine, said Dickinson. “I was flipping through the pages and saw an article about the Haute Route and I thought, ‘What’s this? This is something I’ve always wanted to do.’ So, I re-read the same article for about two weeks, and finally my wife said to me, ‘Just go do it.’ I started researching the event, and along the way saw the type 1 diabetes association, and I thought, holy cow, how can I not do this?!” After completing the 2015 Haute Route Alps, he signed up with TT1 to participate in additional fundraising. “My wife works with a lot of people in the type 1 community on diet and awareness and exercise, and exercise is what Phil promotes. It’s a crucial aspect in dealing with type 1, a good way to control your blood sugars and stay healthy. It builds a mindset of taking care of yourself, so that’s what we try to do in our community, and we have fun doing it.”
Asked how Team Type 1 initially connected with Haute Route, Southerland commented, “In college I was able to connect helping people with diabetes with cycling by using the bike as a platform. Things went well for a number of years, and then I met Haute Route’s CEO, Rémi Duchemin, in 2013. Through the connection with Haute Route we have raised more than $500,000. If you look at the next 5-10 years it’s realistic to say we could ensure everyone in the world has access to medicine, both testing equipment and insulin needed to survive. And second, that we can affect the insurance debacle here in the United States by supporting scholarships to help reduce the financial burden faced by students with diabetes.”
For Matthew Mack, the opportunity to apply cutting-edge technology to the fight against type 1 diabetes led to his involvement with the TT1 Foundation. “I met Phil at the Tour of California in 2016 and we got to talking about the technological challenges of dealing with diabetes, so we worked together to set up a hackathon with Microsoft. We have a hackathon at Microsoft every year, which brings together talent from throughout the company to work on technology challenges we are passionate about. For the first time ever, we were able to develop a dashboard that monitored multiple athletes’ blood sugar levels in real time while they were competing. We prototyped it at the Colorado Classic in 2016.”
Southerland’s long history in the sport of cycling also plays a big role in drawing supporters to events like Mavic Haute Route Rockies. John Martin and David Crowe, avid cyclists and two of Phil Southerland’s longtime friends from Georgia, couldn’t pass up the opportunity to combine their love of cycling and support for the TT1 Foundation.
Rupert Waterhouse may have one of the most interesting stories from within the group of athletes riding Mavic Haute Route Rockies in support of the TT1 Foundation. Before the event he really had no connection to type 1 diabetes. Rather, the veteran of multiple Haute Route events in Europe makes a point of signing up for each event in support of the official charity partner. “When I do something like this I tend to sign up with the official charity,” said Waterhouse. “It’s a bit of extra motivation for the event, and motivation to raise money for charity. And it’s great to be part of a team when you’re doing an Haute Route, and they are certainly that.”
There are additional connections to type 1 diabetes and the TT1 Foundation at Mavic Haute Route Rockies. Charlie Rowland, a pharmaceutical executive riding Team CTS, wears Team Novo Nordisk apparel and raises money for the Team Type 1 Foundation in support of his 4-year-old niece who is living with type 1 diabetes.
Even the Haute Route staff is connected to the TT1 Foundation. Jim Davis, known to many riders as the man shooting finish line photos, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes following a sport-related injury to his pancreas. Though his doctor initially told him he would need to stop exercising, Davis connected with Team Type 1 and has been successfully managing his diabetes through a combination of insulin, nutrition, and cycling. He completed both the Haute Route Alps and the 2017 Mavic Haute Route Rockies.
If you would like to help Phil Southerland and the Team Type 1 Foundation fight the disparity in diabetes care around the world, please donate now.