The Lance Armstrongs of Diabetes

DiabeticsYou might be inclined to call them the “Lance Armstrongs of diabetes”. What the phenomenal cyclist has done for cancer is now being done for diabetes by a pair of young friends who are working to encourage other diabetics to live full, healthy lives..

The chance encounter at a cycling event between Phil Southerland and Joe Eldridge has proven to be remarkable in their lives. They are using their common love of cycling to inspire other diabetics to educate and take care of themselves.

Both of the twenty-something professional cyclists share an affliction with diabetes, as well as an avid passion for diabetes education and proper care. Such was not the case when they first met at a cycling event about six years ago.

Phil was careful about checking his sugar and maintaining a healthy diet, while Joe was more lax in managing his disease. At the cycling event where they met, Joe noticed Phil’s health care regimen. He had never met another cyclist with diabetes. He decided to talk to Phil about his diabetes management routine. They became friends and began having fun little competitions with each other as incentive for Joe to live healthier.

The two men say they are advocates of living healthy lifestyles. Joe believes his cycling made an overall improvement when he began to follow Phil’s example and manage his diabetes and his overall health. They founded Team Type 1 to inspire other diabetics to follow their dreams, and set goals for their lives. Phil and Joe want to encourage other diabetics not to give into the debilitating aspects of the disease. Phil says that he has flourished, not in spite of, but because of his disorder, because it has allowed him to be able to reach out to others and provide inspiration to them to make their lives happy and meaningful. It is people like Joe and Phil who bring to attention people truly can do anything with their lives.

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