Team WILD

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My friend and colleague, Lyndsay Riffe, Registered Dietitian/CDE and type 1 diabetic, sent me an email about these fabulous women. I’m excited for them and jealous that I am not a part of this team! Maybe one day down the line….it’s good to dream!

Twenty women with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, and friends who call themselves “Type 3,” will gather from across North America to participate in the Longhorn 70.3 on October 25 as part of Team WILD: Women Inspiring Life with Diabetes. Team WILD is the first team in the world to use team training, coaching, medical support and camaraderie to prepare women with diabetes for specific athletic events, from 5ks to Ironmans.

The twenty Team WILD athletes participating in the 2009 Longhorn 70.3 come from seven states and range in age from 24 to 55. Team member, Jennifer Smith, says, “The benefit of being on this wonderful team is that we all have individual expectations and experiences, but because we share them each day we are also learning from 19 other experiences….not just our own.”

The inclusiveness, collaboration, compassion, and female focus of the Team WILD community make it unique and powerful. Through Team WILD, Type 1s and 2s reject the old-fashioned notion that insulin dependence or resistance is a life-inhibitor; and Type 3s express their invaluable support, understanding, and empathy, without which our community could not thrive.  “We embrace fun and motion as keys to happy, healthy lives. Through our team events, education and outreach, we seek to inspire the same in others,” says team founder Mari Ruddy.

With the enthusiasm of the triathletes and outstanding support of the coaches, Team WILD has developed into more than a team of women training for a triathlon in October; it is a community building bridges between women with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, and the people who love and live with them. The Longhorn 70.3 is only the beginning!

There are 23.6 million children and adults in the United States, or 7.8% of the population, who have diabetes. Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life.

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Mari Ruddy, Team Founder at 720-252-6693 and mruddy@teamwild.org.

Team WILD is a project of the Diabetes Exercise and Sports Association.

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