Tuesday, December 3, 2013

We Made the Papers!

team ns Powertrain news release

elmira star-gazette  nov. 22, 2013

Courtesy of drew guild

FLX Tour de Cure sets 2014 goal

Officials with FLX Tour de Cure recently announced the “100/35 Campaign” for the 2014 Tour — that’s a goal of 100 team members who raise $35,000.
Last year, the 2013 NS PowerTrain team raised $31,107 for the Finger Lakes Tour de Cure held Aug. 17 at Watkins Glen High School.
“That was a new team record and beat the goal by $1,107,” according to a news release from FLX officials. The total amount raised for 2013 was just over $200,000.
With 88 members last year, PowerTrain was the largest corporate team comprised of Northfolk Southern executives Wick Moorman, John Rathbone and Mark Manion. So far, they have 20 people registered for the 2014 event, including several new riders, a fifth of the team’s goal for riders.
Each year, the PowerTrain team dedicates the ride to a person battling diabetes whose lifestyle has changed dramatically due to the disease. For 2014, the team will dedicate its efforts to two riders: Kevin Romer of Trumansburg and Amy Bishop of Spencer, the release states.
Romer, 55, is a two-time myocardial infarction survivor and Red Rider — a diabetic who rides. He was also one of the largest fundraisers for 2013.
“I don’t want my friends or family to have to deal with this dreaded disease either,” Romer stated in prepared remarks.
Bishop, 49, was diagnosed with diabetes last February. She was also a Red Rider and participated in three Tour de Cures prior to her diagnosis.
Bishop went to a nutritionist and changed her lifestyle. Her daily routine includes cycling, walking and Zumba.
Diabetes changed Bishop’s life, she stated in the release. She plans to manage her diabetes with diet and exercise.
“I look forward to riding in the Tour in 2014, I am planning on doing the 35-mile ride,” she stated in prepared remarks. “Thanks to all who ride and donate.”

Monday, August 19, 2013

The 2013 Tour...as seen by our teammate Kevin Romer

The 2013 FLX Tour de Cure is now history. I am both happy and sad…happy that I took part and made lots of new friends, and rekindled the old and sad to know that it is “over”…for this year!!!

I want to say to my best friend and riding partner…Kristen Romer… THANK YOU and I love you!!

To the most awesome team ever…the NS Power Train…you are the best ever!!! Your inspiration and motivation was a huge driving force. The force behind a team like this just drives energy!!! Thank you for allowing me to be a small part of huge effort!!!

Yesterday started out pretty early as we wanted to be there when the Century riders departed. Doing 100mi on a bike…AWESOME…and maybe not next year for me, but if it all works out, for sure the year after.

Then I needed to decide whether to do the 20mi route or jump and do the 35mi route. My longest ride ever was 21mi (adult life anyways) so I knew I could do the 20 without a problem, but now I needed to challenge myself again…20 or 35?? Right up till the registration table, when I was asked which route..I said… 35!!! That decision all alone was bittersweet for me…I wanted the challenge, but I didn’t want to leave my friend and riding partner. I am sorry for that but happy I chose the challenge.

As the 35mi group departed, I waved and off I went. To “the hill”!! Let me tell you that “the hill” was worse than I imagined. I rode a small distance when it was just faster to walk and push the bike. When I looked up the hill, it was a relief to see that I was not the only one walking. It was amazing to see those that could ride up the entire hill and disappear…someday…maybe it will be me doing that.

When I go to a point I could begin to actually ride the bike, the course continued an uphill climb, even with the short downhills, the course continued upward. I struggled at times, caught a few riders and passed them (nice!!) and was passed by them at another point (not so nice) and arrived at the first checkpoint. Ate about half an orange, took a breath and off I went…as I left the girls working the rest stop said “it’s all downhill from here!!”…it was obvious quite quickly that honesty is not a trait for rest stop volunteers!!!

The ride from Dundee to Himrod was actually pretty nice, although the climb seemed to continue for
about 5 more miles…then the start downhill. Across the tracks (successfully I will add), turn left and
across to more sets of tracks (still without issue), then UPHILL to the rest stop. Doing okay still, but the sun is beginning to take a toll on me. If you know me…I am not a big fan of direct sunlight…and shade was not to be found.

Left the rest stop with my friend Doug Wheeler and headed for Watkins…knowing that I was half done was relief. Course seemed have leveled off some and I was able to make some pretty good time…got into a zone and cruised.

With the third rest stop approaching…I was feeling pretty good, but knew if I stopped there…it might have been my last stop…so I kept going…right on by. After a couple of stretches of highway that you could see several miles in the distance, and the beating sun, and what appeared to be no progress being made…and mirages of cool water and palm trees began to appear…I need to get out of the sun…BADLY. The 14A overpass came into view…I HAD TO STOP!!! The VanDruff crew stopped and asked if I was okay and commented “its all downhill from here” and if I wanted to finish the course with them?? Off we went…downhill into Watkins.

As we all crossed the “finish line”… it was awesome to see my wife waiting for me… I did it!!!

35.5mi in 3h 36m… my thighs were on fire, I was cooking from the sun…and needed a cold drink!!! But I did it!!!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

A Personal Story from a Team NS Mom

Ten years ago today ours lives changed forever. 

The nagging feeling that something just wasn't right with our Megan. The mystery of the number 11 and the distinct feeling that Aunt Ruth who had passed away was trying to get a message to me. The wondering why Megan would be chatty and happy and full of herself one minute then sound asleep the next, why she cried out in panic that she couldn't see the T.V., the headache that kept her company for a couple days and finally the thirst that she couldn't seem to quench. As we contemplated checking her blood sugar with Ted's glucometer, a decision you don't make lightly when you are considering poking a 4 year olds baby soft finger tip with a needle the thickness of a tack to get a drop of blood. 

I bolted up in bed and declared "the date totals number 11 Ted, we have to check her'. The meter came back with the message "HI" which means the level is above 650, (normal is 80-120)and I phoned the pediatrician on call, we had instructions to head to the ER room right away, I watched as my husband sobbed knowing what Megan was going to have to live with, a panic started to rise within me and before I could succumb to the sobs an overwhelming sense of peace came over me. I just KNEW we were going to be okay. 

The next days weeks and months are a blur but day by day; we are getting through it. The beginning was incredibly tough as we had to hold Megan down for shots; pull her out of her hiding places to inject her with the insulin that she needs to stay alive. As the days went on Megan came to accept this was part of her life now and it wasn't going away. It hasn't ever been easy but she is living her life and enjoying sports, some incredibly great friends, sleep overs, and siblings who have held her when she was sick with high or low symptoms. 

As we wrap up a Decade with Diabetes I am grateful to my family and friends for all of their support over the years and most importantly to Heather Henbest and Ted Henbest who have sacrificed so much to support their sister through 10 years of this battle. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A Different Kind of Bike Ride

The Second Annual ADA Rally

This Saturday, June 1st is the day to get in a nice cruise, enjoy a day on the road and a great chance to see some of the countryside that the bicycle riders of Team PowerTrain and the rest of the Tour de Cure will see in August.  

Since we're suddenly right down to the wire on this one, I wanted to get out a quick, much abbreviated TourNews about the Rally.  
The title above is a link to the event page and here's one to the
Rally website.

If you've been waiting for the weather to break, it looks like 80 degrees and only a chance of showers...which beats the frost and cold of last weekend!

Get the bike shined up and come ride with Team PowerTrain!

Special thanks to Steve Gorney and Dave Lanning for pulling this one together!  Way to go guys!!

Friday, May 17, 2013

We Ride for Adam

One of our own Team PowerTrain Red Riders tells it like it is!
Adam Robbs

What living with Diabetes means to me.

I hate it! I hate that when under control I feel sick to my stomach.  I hate when out of control I am a mean person with wicked mood swings!  I hate taking insulin!  I hate giving myself shots!  I hate stabbing my fingers many times each day!  I hate losing feeling in finger tips!  I hate my eyesight changing!  I hate low blood sugars that scare me at night and then I’m afraid to go back to sleep for fear I won’t wake up!  I hate a special diet! And I hate people feeling sorry for me the most!

I may never see a cure but I will do everything I personally can to bring awareness to the disease and possibly help to cure this for the next generation.  I don’t want sympathy.  I don’t want pity.  I don’t need that. I’m not a great athlete but I will try that’s one step closer to the cure and every year I will get better.  I have people in my family that have it much worse.  I read about people that have the disease much worse than me.  I deal with people every day that have lost toes, fingers, feet, eyesight and lives because of this terrible disease.  So I’m not complaining by any means.

Diabetes will not beat me.

I am Adam Robbs and I have diabetes.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Another Reason to Ride

For our non-Facebook friends who didn't get to see this post...this is why we do what we do.  Some things just don't need any more explanation than this.  Thanks Chris.

Chris Vandruff shared a link.
Friday near Sayre

What were you doing at 2:00 am this morning? I'm sure some of you were awake with me but I was up rescuing one twin from a low blood sugar, hollering at him to drink his orange juice while his brother (also low) told me I didn't have to yell. 
It sounds terrible but my wife and I know that's what it takes to keep him coherent long enough to get his blood sugar back up to a functional level. Quality time in our house is often spent in the middle of the night munching a snack and sharing a milk defeating another low blood sugar that is trying to take my boys down! 
I am riding 100 miles to help raise money for the American Diabetes Association.  
It's pronounced Di uh bee Tees...not Di uh Bee Tuhs because it will never... Beat Us!

Sunday, February 24, 2013


Something pretty special for everyone tonight:

Recently Heather and Megan Henbest joined Team PowerTrain.  Their Mom, Suzanne also signed on to help the Tour as a volunteer.  Megan  is a Red Rider who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at four years old.

I asked Suzanne if she'd share some of what it's like to live with T1 every day with all of us on the team and in nothing flat, there was a message in my inbox.  I have to tell you, it's an inspiration to me.  It reminds me why we ride.  It's not for ADA; it's not for the Tour; it's not for NS; it's for people like Megan and her family who live with diabetes and have waited a long time to hear that there's a cure.  It puts a lot of things in perspective.

So without further ado...here's a T1 Mom with 'the rest of the story':

"Our story really begins in 1976 when my husband Ted, the youngest of 4 children was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.  At that time technology was fairly scarce and treating type 1 diabetes meant taking insulin shots two or three times a day and eating “on demand” at certain times of the day and avoiding sugary foods and sweets.  Over the years technology has advanced dramatically and Ted was able to experiment with new therapies until he found the one that worked best for him, he could eat what he wanted to in moderation; inject insulin when needed and diabetes no longer ruled his life. We married in 1987 and in 1989 began our family with reassurance from the doctors that Type 1 diabetes was rare; and the likelihood Ted would pass this disease only to any of his children was less then 5%.

On March 30, 1999 our family was complete with the birth of our youngest daughter Megan.  In a family with three children each looked to proudly claim their rights as “first born”; that would be our Heather; the first son, that would be our “Teddy” and the “baby” Megan had the honor to be born on her father’s birthday.  A bond Ted knew would carry them through a lifetime, never dreaming that in just 4 ½ years they would share another bond when Megan was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.  As I witnessed my husbands despair at the news it dawned on me that T1D is not as “easy” as he made it look. I quickly learned that Ted sheltered me from much of his daily battles determined not to let T1D define who he is.

Fast forward 9 years later to current day and I can tell you taking care of a young child with T1D is not for “lightweights”.  It is a 24 hour a day job; 7 days a week; 365 days a year; no vacations, no holidays and no days off.  Add to that the hormonal pre-teen and teenage years and can imagine the daily struggles. We are fortunate enough that research has led to incredible advances in technology that has improved the quality of life for our daughter and for that I am incredibly grateful.  The technology isn't perfect; I still check Megan every night before I go to bed and once in the middle of the night.  

There is this terrible, awful, unthinkable complication from Type 1 Diabetes; crudely referred to as “dead in bed”.  A parent’s worst nightmare, their child or loved one experiences a very low blood sugar while they are sleeping and does not wake to treat the life threatening low blood glucose with a quick acting sugar.  Despite all your hard work at checking blood sugars regularly (6-10 times a day); frequently meeting with your team of caregivers and routinely reviewing your blood sugar data you never are quite able to “control” diabetes.  I watch Megan and countless children like her persevere with courage and determination to live their lives fully and never let Diabetes stop them from realizing their dreams.  So until there is a cure I will continue to check Megan’s overnight blood glucose levels to make sure she wakes up from all her dreams; to fulfill her dreams. 

I think I speak for many when I say I am proud to be one of the “chosen ones” to parent a child(ren) with T1D and we will selflessly make daily sacrifices to ensure our children stay as healthy as possible until a cure is found.  Those of you without T1D do have a choice and we sincerely appreciate your dedication to finding a cure."

Our sincere thanks, 

Suzanne, Ted, Heather, Teddy and Megan Henbest

No Suzanne...thank you.  

You and your family are the reason we do what we do!

Friday, February 1, 2013

What A Day It Was

January 31st...

Last night as I was browsing around the 'net, my email started beeping with new messages.  Every time someone joins the PowerTrain I get a notification from ADA so I can check my Tour Center and see who signed up.  Last evening my inbox rang like the doorbell.  I don't know if it was the 'In Training' shirt offer about to expire or what...it certainly wasn't the weather!  The wind was blowing snow horizontally across the deck but lots of people sure were thinking about bikes and Tour de Cure!

I can't say for sure but I think we set some kind of record for Team NS this week.  We went from 37 to 45 on the roster faster than I could update the team Facebook pages.  We shot up to over $700 in donations in the process!  There's now four Red Riders and six active NS employees on the team as well.  And it's February...where will we be in July?  Wow!!

I can't tell you guys what a great feeling it is to be the captain of a team like the PowerTrain.  I'm amazed every day by what you do and the enthusiasm you bring to the FLX Tour.  You make my job easy and I thank you!

The Captain