Message from the Executive Director

I’m inspired.

Over the last few weeks I’ve had the opportunity of being able to travel and train all across the country for Breakthrough T1D.

Led by ride coach extraordinaire Bill Timmons, the trip began in Death Valley. Some 325 riders would face winds up to 55 miles an hour as they traversed the stark, harsh elements of this unforgiving terrain. And whether it was the fortitude of the rest of our team made up of Sibyl, Marie and Lisa or the discipline of experienced riders from around the world, I was impressed. But not just by their athletic acumen, more so by the collective spirit that rode for multiple family and friends, and yet a single cause.

From there I was able to fly straight to New York. At the Breakthrough T1D national offices I was able to participate in executive director training and meetings. Getting to interact with eight of my counterparts around the country as well as the national staff for three days was both educational and a bonding experience. One night we were fortunate enough to have dinner with CEO Derek Rapp. In his rare combination of humility and drive Derek’s message ebbed and flowed from passionate to technical. And I share this quote from him, “it is a privilege to do what we do and you will never know, no matter how they try to express, it how much people truly appreciate what all of you are doing”

From New York it was off to Charlotte. Here in this finance capital of the South we were able to assist the Greater Western Carolinas Chapter with their Gala. Highlighted by an appearance by country music star Eric Church and his $1,000,000 commitment it was something to behold. However, if I’m being honest, what I was most excited by were the 40 or so Breakthrough T1D colleagues from around the country who came to learn and to contribute. Ranging in all ages and backgrounds they walked in the door ready to work. They owned fully the tasks in front of them and never hesitated to jump in and assist others with additional responsibilities. The collective effort was something to behold.

Lastly, I found myself back in the Midwest in Chicago for a training that focused on all of you. Another group of 40 impassioned and ready Breakthrough T1D staff learned and practiced the fact that Breakthrough T1D does not do this work. All of you do. We facilitate the good work that your volunteerism and your resources generate. New to some and second nature to others this concept is something that will continue to permeate our work throughout the world, recognizing that the impact is truly owned by all of you; the donors and volunteers of this cause.

The four cities, over 6,000 miles, and hundreds of staff members I was able to interact with leads me to one conclusion. I’m inspired. The work ethic, the work rate, the vision, the commitment and the collective energy of nearly everyone I encountered reaffirmed for me what a correct decision it was to join this cause, to join this team. And once again Derek was right, this is a privilege.