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Cycling With Diabetes by McConvey Cycles rider Ciaran Dixon

Words by McConvey Cycles

on 25/04/2018 11:47:34

Ciaran DixonOn March 7th 2016, I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes which is an auto-immune disease. This affects me in many ways and I have to monitor my blood sugar levels 24/7 as well as give myself multiple daily injections to keep me alive. Managing Diabetes alone is hard but it is even harder to train and race with the condition. When I was in hospital I really did think I had waved goodbye to any chance of even being able to ride my bike let alone race it. But I remembered hearing about Team Novo Nordisk (TNN), who are a Type 1 Diabetic cycling team who compete at pro continental level. I researched them and realised I am not the only cyclist with the condition and that with proper care and attention I could race my bike and do well. This inspired me and really helped me come to terms with my diagnosis. When I got back home from hospital, I made contact with the team and they put me in touch with another Irish rider with the condition, Stephen Clancy. Stephen has messaged me a number of times, giving me encouragement. The team were fantastic and they answered any questions I had, they also sent me some kit for free. Within a short space of time I realised that my chances of doing anything in the sport were not gone, in fact they were increased and by having Type 1 Diabetes I had an advantage. I could’ve used my diagnosis as a negative and given up, but having heard so much about the team, I decided to try and turn my diagnosis into a positive.

Team Novo Nordisk run a Talent Identification camp in Athens Georgia every year and since I discovered them I have always wanted to go to it but was too young, as the minimum age to be at the camp is 15. I just missed out by a couple of weeks last year. Since October 2017, I have been sending my race results and training into their coaches and I recently received an email telling me I have been given a place on this year’s camp. I am over the moon and can’t wait. The camp is held in Athens, Georgia and will run for 9 days from 2nd July to the 11th. The camp is for some of the best young riders who have the condition. I will be riding with members of the Team Novo Nordisk Development Teams and Junior Teams. Off the bike I will be able to work with licensed health care professionals to learn about sports and diabetes management. With any luck in the next 2 years I might make it onto the Team Novo Nordisk junior team.

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