Wow, what a beautiful place Pensacola is! I had never been there before and really enjoyed my time there. Beautiful beaches, great restaurants…and the nicest Tour de Cure I have ever ridden. 62 miles, almost of them in view of water.
The trip began with a speaking engagement at Gulf Breeze Elementary school. Great kids, and later that day I got a very nice e-mail from a young girl telling me that I was a real hero…feedback like that never gets old!
A big thanks to Truly Spokin bike shop for loaning me a nice Bianchi, saved me the trouble of lugging my bike to Florida. I also want to thank Santino from Thrift-T Drug and his friend Jack for a great ride together…I would thank Bob from Tower Pharmacy as well, but I couldn’t keep up with him.
The Pensacola Tour de Cure is an event I would gladly put on my calendar every year!
This weekend I’ll be spending my birthday in South Beach for the Nautica Triathlon - GO DREW!!!
I want like to send out a huge thanks and congratulations to all my colleagues who participated in the Philadelphia JDRF “Walk to Cure Diabetes” yesterday. I friend’s wedding had me and my wife out of town for the weekend so we missed it, but I was thinking about all the walkers and was with you in spirit. Thanks for supporting the cause!
Visit my BLOG again this week as I will post a “bonus” BLOG..I still have more to write about my trip to Hawaii, but have been short on time.
This past week I taped a PSA (public service anouncement) for the Philadelphia JDRF chapter. Like last year, the commercial had me flanked by a half dozen amazing kids who also have type 1 diabetes. The comercial should air on ABC (Philadelphia Market) thoughout the month of October. The commercial was meant to bring attention to the anual JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes that is coming up on October 26th. You can find out how to support the walk by visiting www.jdrf.org/philadelphia Please help us find a cure by walking or donating.
Buy the time you are reading this BLOG, I will be in Panama City, Florida for Ironman. Hard to believe this race season is coming to a close but what better way to put an exclamation mark on 2007 then with an Ironman finish. I had been feeling great as of late, all my recent long workouts went very well and mentally I am ready for the challenge. However, a nagging calf problem has escalated (perfect timing) so I am anticipating an interesting marathon on Saturday…but what fun would an Ironman be without some adversity (like there isn’t enough already). But, there is nothing I can do about it now, it’s “Game Time.” If you would like to follow my race throughout the day on Saturday and/or check my results – you can do both via www.ironman.com. Click the IronmanLive tab, then use the “athlete tracker” for the Ironman Florida event. Simply type my last name and there you will find me…hopefully without a DNF (Did Not Finish) next to my name.
I also wanted to mention that this past weekend I took part in the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes in Philadelphia. I got to see some old friends I haven’t seen all year, I addressed the crowd of a few thousand from atop the Art Museum Steps and walked the 3+ miles with everyone. The goal for the Walk was to raise $1.7 million…but I am sure they exceeded that. Thank you to all who donated the time and money to helping us find a cure!
With my training winding down this past week in preparation for Ironman Florida on November 3rd, and no travel over the weekend…this week’s BLOG will be short and sweet!
This Sunday, October 28th is the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes in Philadelphia, PLEASE SUPPORT OUR TEAM: DIABETES SHOPPE – IRON ANDY by making a donation using the following link:
Check back next week as I will offer my final words regarding my last BIG race of the year.
This past weekend, I was invited to Columbus, GA to take part in a number of events that surrounded the Columbus JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes. David Lovett at North Columbus Pharmacy requested my attendance so I could meet one of his special friends, Sarah Beth Guidry. Sarah Beth is an adorable ten year old who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of four. But you would never know from meeting her. Sarah Beth is one of those kids that won’t let diabetes get her down.
Sarah Beth has an AMAZING support team including her family, the Farmer’s and Guidry’s, friends and the local community. Sarah Beth’s mom, Jamie Farmer, is on the board of the local JDRF chapter, along with husband Tim and two older daughters, Mariana and Costa, who are also extremely supportive and hard working people…qualities we want in fighting this disease. Sarah Beth’s dad, Stephen Guidry and his wife Beverly are also very supportive of the cause. They came down for the weekend, as they do every year to take part in the Walk. Stephen is living without limits in his own way. To help Sarah Beth, he took part in one of JDRF’s four “Ride for a Cure” cycling events. Not a cyclist, he rode 100 miles in Whitefish Montana to raise money for the JDRF. After the Walk on Saturday he told me he was now thinking about doing a triathlon – I guess I have inspired him as well…sorry about that Stephen.
This weekend’s events had me take part in a Walk at the Britt-David Elementary school in honor of Andy Callahan who has diabetes, two TV interviews, ABC and CBS, an assembly at the Brookstone School and a discussion with the Family Network group for families dealing with diabetes. I met some great children at the Family Network group. Thanks to Charlie, Kate, Zack, Steve, Rachel, Matthew…and of course Sarah Beth, and their families for inspiring me. The weekend ended with the JDRF Walk in Rotary Park. There were almost 1,000 walkers and they hoped to raise over $140,000.
A special thanks to David and Janet Lovett, pharmacists and owners of North Columbus Pharmacy in Columbus, GA. It was David who orchestrated my trip to Georgia. His love and support for Sarah Beth and her family, as well as others in the community dealing with this disease was evident. Thanks again for inviting me into your community and introducing me to the wonderful people of Columbus.
Next stop – Palm Springs, CA. Ironman Florida is right around the corner.
Over the next few months, in over 200 locations worldwide people will be walking to cure diabetes. I owe a great deal to the JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) not only for the amazing work they do to raise money to find a cure for diabetes and its complications…but for playing a huge role in getting me started down the Iron Andy road. As the Honoree of the JDRF Promise Ball in 2006, I was introduced to Good Neighbor Pharmacy/Diabetes Shoppe…and the past year as the national spokesperson for Diabetes Shoppe’s “Managing Diabetes: Living Without Limits” campaign has been amazing. Over the next month or so I am lending my name, my face and my legs to helping the JDRF raise money through their walks.
This week I shot a public service announcement to promote and raise awareness for the Philadelphia walk that will take place on Sunday October 28th. The commercial will air on WPVI – the Philadelphia ABC affiliate. Next week, I will be taking part in the JDRF walk in Traverse City, MI.
You too can help in the efforts to find a cure. Join a walk event near you at http://walk.jdrf.org/, or simply make a donation to my team – Diabetes Shoppe / Iron Andy. Online donations are accepted at http://walk.jdrf.org/walker.cfm?id=86828983.
Thank you for your support!
See you next week!
I am writing this BLOG from a seat on flight 7711 from Kansas City to Chicago. I am supposed to be flying home to Philadelphia…but long story short – you have to take the good with the bad and the good follows below, read on…
My trip began in Kansas, as I appeared on the Local ESPN radio show, “Weekend Warrior”. My new friends Mike Farmer and the good “Dr. Fish” devoted their entire hour long show to learning about me and the Living Without Limits campaign. This was not my first radio show but it was the first time I was live in the studio. These guys conducted a fabulous interview and asked me to phone in from time to time to check in. Thanks guys for this great opportunity and I look forward to speaking with you again.
Then it was off to Missouri – a short drive to the Belton Community Center where I gave a presentation to a number of people. It was here I met the Scavuzzo family: Vanessa, who works for the ADA and organized the Tour de Cure ride, her husband Nick and their daughter and son Alex and Max. Max has type 1 diabetes, and from what I could tell he is handling it like a real champ.
After my presentation I spent the afternoon at Dryden Drug for a health fair. I met some great people here as well. Thanks Steve for having me to your store and thank you Peggy for organizing a great day. I hope to see you again soon.
Saturday ended with a great home cooked meal at the Scavuzzo’s residence. Thank you Vanessa for welcoming me into your home and making me feel a little less homesick on Father’s Day weekend.
Sunday morning it was off to Kansas City for the Tour de Cure Ride. I said a few words of inspiration and encouragement to the group of riders as they left for the 70 miler, then I joined the 35 mile group. Some riders from Team J&J pushed me pretty hard for 30 miles, but overall it was a lot of fun. The course was beautiful, mostly taking place along the very trail that Lewis and Clark trail blazed a few hundred years ago. After the ride I manned the Diabetes Shoppe tent and had a number of meaningful conversations with fellow riders. Thanks to all who took the time to meet with me…a very special thanks to Dan Hansen from the Kansas City Trek bike shop for lending me a Trek Madone (special edition)…what a great bike.
Last but not least, it was off to Beatrice Nebraska for a speaking engagement organized by Dienes Pharmacy. Thanks to Mitch Dienes and Joan for hosting me, I hope I was able to inspire and motivate some of the folks of Beatrice.
Finally, hats off to my host and chauffer for the weekend – Paul Satterfield. He completed the 70 mile ride, about 70 miles longer than his longest ride ever…on a $50 bike with 5 speeds and no kick stand (inside joke). Great job Paul.
See you next week – IRON Andy
This past Saturday was the annual JDRF Promise Ball Gala. The Promise Ball is the Philadelphia Chapter of JDRF’s (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) big fund raising event. This event has and will always have a special place in my heart since last year I was the honoree of the event. Through that I was able to raise almost $20,000 for JDRF (just a tiny portion of the $1 million + they raised that night) but most importantly it was through the JDRF that I was introduced to Scott Robinson from AmerisourceBergen Corporation. Scott is the National Director of AmerisourceBergen’s Diabetes Shoppe program. When Scott met me and heard my story and what I was trying to accomplish- he asked me to be the spokesperson for Diabetes Shoppe. He then conceived the inspirational campaign Managing Diabetes – “Living Without Limits.” Thus IRON Andy now had a new career and history is still in the making.
Anyway, this year’s event was nothing short of amazing. It’s unbelievable to hear the stories of what some of these children and their parents go through on a daily basis. Also, to see the dedication, courage and generosity of everyone involved with JDRF is moving and inspirational. I believe the night raised in excess of $1.2 million that will go towards research for type 1 diabetes and its complications. The theme for this year’s event was “A Night of Hope…A Time to Believe. I know there will someday be a cure for diabetes and it will be in part due to the hard work, passion and commitment of the thousands of people in and around JDRF who are Hoping and Believing.
I know I am proud to work with and help JDRF in anyway I can. As I said in my honoree speech last year – “I plan to Swim, Bike and Run until there is a cure for Diabetes.”
This Sunday is the Ironman Orlando 70.3 (half Ironman). You can follow my race and results on www.ironmanlive.com Otherwise check back next week for my run down of the day.
See you next week.
I just returned from my trip to California. The highlight of the week was the “Peak Performance” family retreat sponsored by ADA (www.diabetes.org) and the PADRE Foundation (www.padrefoundation.org). This weekend retreat took place high in the San Bernardino Mountains in Lake Arrowhead, CA – at the UCLA Conference Center.
I was one of three inspirational speakers who individually spoke to the children (mostly newly diagnosed children with type 1 diabetes) and their families. Opportunities like these are by far the best part of my new career. Having the opportunity to inspire these children and their parents, and re-enforce to them that as difficult as this disease is…they are not alone, gives me a wonderful sense of satisfaction – it makes all my hard work worth it. Most of the people in attendance were from Southern California, so when I asked everyone to support our Managing Diabetes: Living Without Limits campaign and to join Team Iron Andy, a great many of them said they would come to my next race in Oceanside, California on March31st. It will be fun to have crowd support especially since I will be so far from home.
One more notable thing to mention from this past week was the fact that the local Philadelphia Comcast cable sports show – “Sportsnite” did a story on me last night. I have already received a number of e-mails and phone calls from people who saw the piece and were inspired. For those of you not in the Philadelphia area, I will post the clip on my website – www.teamironandy.com once I receive it from Comcast. It will appear in the “On Camera” section on my site.
See you next week,