JDNL’s story began in 2009. It starts with the journey of Todd Hansen and his father Bill Hansen. Bill is owner of Hansen Motorsports. Todd was moving up the ranks of professional stock car racing, reaching the ARCA league. Todd also has T1 diabetes — being diagnosed at 13 months — he doesn’t know life without diabetes. To pursue his career as a professional race car driver, he knew he had to be in complete control of his diabetes. While his race team was responsible for the car and making sure it was “race ready”, only Todd could make himself race ready. Todd had the right attitude – and he and his family sought to educate others on diabetes and how the daily rigors of diabetes management took time, patience and persistence, it wasn’t going to let him stand in the way of pursuing this dream to excel at racing.
There were questions such as “does the league know?” and “do competitors know?” In an information laden world, it remains stunning how many misperceptions exist about diabetes. “Don’t you just take a shot each day and you’re fine?” “Don’t you get enough exercise?” “You must eat too much sugar!” The list goes on.
Juvenile Diabetes No Limits Foundation (JDNL) started its existence as Speed the Cure Foundation (STC) with a mission that might have seemed vague to some. We wanted to avoid confusing circumstances of being viewed as ‘another organization raising money for research’. We believe (then and now) there are wonderful organizations that both raise money for and sponsor medical research. However, the ‘diabetes industry’ let us know the driving-and-diabetes concerns families have when their teen with diabetes reaches driving age. As significant as the concern is, it’s not something being proactively addressed. We knew we could.
How could we not address driving and diabetes? We started from a “driving perspective” — it made sense. The name Speed the Cure had to change – becoming Juvenile Diabetes No Limits in early 2010. It was a young man with T1 diabetes, Will Schindler, who at the age of about 14 years (and active in sports), told his mom “I’ll work hard to manage my diabetes — don’t limit my opportunities to participate in sports”. It all fell into place. JDNL’s new mission and goal was repositioned to help young people realize they can manage their diabetes and… achieve their dreams.
In our stories section, you’ll learn about the Hooten family — a family with five — four of which have T1 diabetes. They are an active family – that participates in the world of motorsports — the NHRA Junior Drag Racing League. This family has dealt with every “up and down” imaginable with a household of diabetes. They have been active in fundraising and instrumental in helping JDNL formulate Check B4U Drive. You’ll learn of Mark Lippe, a Type 1 who experienced the severity and consequences of driving with a low blood sugar level. You’ll learn about others who are doing wonderful things while managing diabetes. Some of these stories are now a few years old — but still relevant. We encourage you to submit your story and let us help you tell how YOU are achieving your dreams while managing diabetes.
We welcome your help expanding Check B4U Drive. We welcome your support!
View our “About the Foundation” one-page summary here!