Don't Waste Your Pain

Riding for a cause with Hope on 2 Wheels

Michelle Alswager BioBy Michelle Alswager

August 2012 — Not long ago, I was riding my bicycle through San Diego with a group of people who are somehow woven into the diabetes fabric. It was April and I was back home pondering what exactly I would do next. Sure, I had the JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes in Death Valley, California on my calendar for October, but what to do in the meantime?

I received a note from Scott Kasper asking what my plans were for the summer. The timing was good on his part. He asked me if I had heard of Hope on 2 Wheels. Actually, I had, and I thought it was a lofty idea with great potential for raising diabetes awareness. I also thought it was a crazy idea to bike 250 miles from New York City to Washington, D.C. Lofty goal, indeed.

He went on to tell me that the ride would take place on June 23rd. (There's that magical 23 popping up again.) He said he knew my story well and wanted to know if I would be interested in joining the team. My first thought was, "You are CRAZY!" I told him I would need to think about it, then I asked him how many teammates I'd have. The answer? 23. I only thought about it for an hour — then the training began.

The team is made up of 24 people from all over the country. Everyone is riding for the same reason — someone we each know and love has diabetes — or in my case, had diabetes. We are on a mission to draw attention to this disease. I've always believed that we do not have to be sad all the time when we tell people about this disease and the consequences. Instead, we can have fun along the way, make new friendships, and be a little, well, crazy.

It's an honor to ride with this group made up of some of the top names in biking for diabetes. It will be a long journey — one that I have done my very best to train for. During the trip I will spend some time in New York City, meeting people I have worked with in the "d" world but have never met face-to-face. When I finish the race, I will spend time meeting with my legislators in DC. I'll also spend time visiting an old friend who also happens to ride for diabetes (and for herself).

Today I saw a quote: "Don't waste your pain." I thought about that statement for quite some time. See, I'm not nuts to ride 250 miles with this band of misfits, I just have hope. That's my point. I hope you all follow me on my journey and think of me — and Jesse — while I embark on my mile of silence at mile 23.

Check out Hope on 2 Wheels.

Read more of Michelle Alswager's columns here.


dLife's Viewpoints columnists are not all medical experts, but everyday people living with diabetes and sharing their personal experiences, most often at a set point in time. While their method of diabetes management may work for them, everyone is different. Please consult with your diabetes care team before acting on anything you read here to find out what will work best for you.

Last Modified Date: June 06, 2013

All content on is created and reviewed in compliance with our editorial policy.

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by Brenda Bell
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