This year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the annual race for diabetes, Tour De Cure, will be going virtual on June 13.
The American Diabetes Association will host the event via Facebook livestream starting with an opening ceremony at 8 a.m. and ending with a post-event program at 11 a.m. Registration for the run, walk or bike event for all ages is now free.
“We have a lineup of different announcements, our national anthem, and we might have Tom Terry from WFTV to host the event,” said Cesar Cesareo, ADA’s Director of Development for Central Florida. “Then we are going to have a call of action where we are asking all of our supporters wherever they’re from in their neighborhoods to get active to ride, run, workout or do something active.”
The 11th annual Tour De Cure at Lake Nona is asking participants to join the ADA community Facebook group and share images or videos of participation on social media using the hashtag #virtualTourdeCure2020 as well as asking for donations to the ADA.
Those who share pictures or videos using the hashtag could be reposted during the event by the ADA’s social media or even be asked to join the live stream and share their experiences with diabetes. Even though the event has gone virtual, fundraising prizes will still be sent out to those who registered to raise money for the ADA.
“We have to ship the recognition items for the different fundraising levels,” Cesareo said. “There is no fundraising minimum, but if you raise $100 dollars, we will send you a t-shirt.”
In Central Florida, the ADA has raised over $6 million through the Tour de Cure event over the past 15 years for diabetes research, advocacy, programs and education.
Just in Lake Nona, the 2019 Tour De Cure event hosted 2,200 participants and raised $1.2 million dollars for diabetes research, but this year, due to the pandemic, fundraising has already taken a nose-dive.
“We took a 30% toll on our fundraising, but across the country it had a larger impact with later events, so summer events we are seeing a trend of 50% and the fall events are taking a 70% hit,” Cesareo said. “Donations are really important and relevant right now.”
On the official ADA Facebook, social media-goers can find information about diabetes maintenance and other Tour de Cure events, which are also online-only across the United States, and donation links.
People with diabetes are three times as likely to need hospitalization when infected with COVID-19, according to an ADA press release. Out of 4,800 people surveyed with diabetes, 20% have lost their jobs and many are having a difficult time paying for insulin prescriptions, the June 1 press release stated.
Donations will help fund the Insulin Affordability Act so insulin doesn’t go over $100 dollars, as well as funding for diabetes research and education, Caesar said.
So far in Florida, there are over 64,900 cases of coronavirus and over 2,700 deaths across the state, according to the Florida Health Department.
This comes just as Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that beginning Friday, June 5, Florida officially entered Phase 2 and will allow movie theaters, bars, pubs, and personal service businesses to open. Groups of 50 or more are still unable to gather as well while Florida has tested over one million people, DeSantis said at a June 3 press conference.