Kansas Man to Cycle Over 600 Miles to Support Breakthrough T1D


A Kansas man and local Breakthrough T1D supporter, Jared Bechard, is heading down under to be the first American to join the Australian Type 1 Challenge. Jared will ride a 6-day, 1000km (more than 600 miles) loop to raise awareness and fundraise to support Breakthrough T1Ds vision to create a world without type 1 diabetes (T1D).

Jared has lived with T1D for the past quarter-century and says he won’t let it stop him. He was diagnosed in 1994 after an unquenchable thirst, three days of bedwetting and a diminished appetite. The diagnosis of T1D brought one question to Jared’s mind: “Am I going to die?”. Such was the weight the words carried.  

A week in the hospital and our lives were changed forever. I recall they wouldn’t let us go home until my parents could give me an injection, but the issue was I didn’t want them,” remembers Jared.

Things were very different back then too. Everything revolved around eating certain amounts at certain times to match the insulin. We had NPH and R, and no CGM. The glucose monitor took two minutes to give a reading and required giant drop of blood. 

16 years later, Jared got involved with Breakthrough T1D after attending a One Walk event in Wisconsin. Jared has been involved with Breakthrough T1D Ride to Cure program for four years. His first ride was in Death Valley, CA.

“I have made plenty of T1D bike friends along the way. I can honestly say the Ride program saved me and keeps my fire alive to take care of myself…

“Whenever I start to suffer on the bike, I quickly turn the thoughts in my head to why I’m doing this. I am suffering because there are so many people living with T1D who suffer every day and there is no reason for it, whatsoever. 

Jared’s other involvements with Breakthrough T1D International include giving presentations and helping others get set up on DIY Diabetes management as well as going to T1D Summits and connecting with others from the community.  

This year, Jared decided to take his riding journey across the world and is joining the Type 1 Challenge Australia 2020. Jared’s journey begins on Monday, April 27 and he crosses the finish line on Saturday, May 2. He not only is the FIRST American to join this challenge but is one of only 16 brave enough to do it. Click here to help support Jared in this ride. We will follow along as Jared trains and prepares for this grueling event.

 The Type 1 Challenge was founded in 2017 by Alex Kozeniauskas, diagnosed with T1D in 1996, whose aim was to ride 900km from Melbourne to the Barossa Valley, to participate in the Breakthrough T1D One Ride. The location has evolved, but the motivation remains unchanged: to raise funds and awareness for Breakthrough T1D, to improve lives today and tomorrow by accelerating life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat T1D and its complications.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that strikes both children and adults suddenly. It has nothing to do with diet or lifestyle. There is nothing you can do to prevent it. And, at present, there is no cure.

Learn more about T1D.