Riding for awareness

Camperdown locals Jocelyn Clark (from left), Jodie Narik, Bronagh Bonner, Ann Cunningham and Rachael Moloney have teamed up for the ‘Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation One Ride’ which will see them ride 120 kilometres throughout the Barossa Valley. Photo courtesy of Ashutosh Singh

A GROUP of Camperdown women are taking their weekly Sunday bike ride to the next level, signing up for a 120 kilometre ride to raise awareness of juvenile diabetes.

Bronagh Bonner, Ann Cunningham, Jodie Narik, Jocelyn Clark and Rachael Moloney are teaming up for the ‘Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation One Ride’, which will traverse the Barossa Valley next month.

Riding under the banner of Team Ava, the women are joining forces in support of Ms Bonner’s daughter Ava, who lives with the challenges of Type 1 diabetes on a daily basis.

Now sporting official jerseys, the team is already prompting locals to ask about ‘Team Ava’, which then leads to conversations about Type 1 diabetes.

“The struggle these kids face every day is extraordinary with their insulin levels affected by elements as diverse as weather, emotions and sleep,” Mrs Cunningham said.

“Yet, in the community many still assume poor diet and lack of exercise is the cause of type 1 diabetes.

“This is not the case and this misconception is upsetting to families coping with diabetes which unlike Type 2 diabetes is not at all related to diet.”

Type 1 diabetes is a chronic lifelong disease without a prevention or a cure. Sufferers require 24 hours monitoring and insulin to be injected via needles or a pump.

Mrs Bonner and Mrs Cunningham completed an 80 kilometre Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation One Ride last year, prompting them and their cycling mates to take on the bigger ride this year.

“Our motto is ‘pedal, chat, laugh, conquer’ and it’s great to be able to combine our love of social cycling with raising money and awareness for a cause close to our hearts,” Mrs Cunningham said.

“We would love to see a cure so children don’t have to face these battles and parents don’t have to suffer sleep deprivation and constant worry as they need to monitor and adjust their children’s insulin levels both day and the night.

“Thankfully research to date has seen children go from numerous needles and huge pumps to a much smaller wearable pump.

“The advances make us feel that if we raise money for research, a cure is achievable.”

Team Ava has already raised just over $4000 through local sponsorship towards its $5000 fundraising target and will set off for the ride on April 22.

Anyone interested in making a donation can do so at https//jdrf-ride-2018.everydayhero.com/au/team-ava or contact one of the participants.

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