Campus & Community / News

Diabetes fundraising ride is personal crusade for DU librarian

When Christopher Alexander was diagnosed with diabetes in April, he was “really freaked out about it.” But when the shock of the diagnosis wore off, he decided to do something to help himself — and others.

The Penrose Library assistant will ride his bike 31 miles around Boulder County in the Tour de Cure on August 20th to raise money for the American Diabetes Association (ADA). 

Alexander’s diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes was a scary surprise for him. 

“I had been feeling bad and finally went to the doctor. I was in shock at first,” he says.  “I had watched several of my parents’ friends die from diabetes. But when I learned more about diabetes and spoke to a nutritionist, I realized that it wasn’t the death sentence I originally believed it to be.”

Determined to take charge of his health and get his disease under control, he turned to the ADA website for help. There, he learned of the Tour de Cure, a fundraising and awareness-building bicycle ride now in its 20th year. 

“I used to love to bike as a kid and thought this might be the perfect opportunity for me to get in shape, get my diabetes under control and help raise money to fight diabetes at the same time,” Alexander says. “My fiancée and 16-year-old daughter have both expressed their desire to keep me around as long as they can — that too was a major factor in my decision to ride.”

He joined Team Red Colorado — a group of riders with diabetes and their supporters. He began training at the Ritchie Center and biking to work once a week.

He has already been seeing the results of his efforts. 

“So far I have lost more than 20 pounds and my blood sugars have seemed to level themselves out,” Alexander says. “I have another 30–40 pounds to lose, but what I have done so far has really helped and I feel so much better.”

Alexander has set a goal of raising $1,000 for the ADA for this ride. Thus far, he has collected more than $700 from friends, family, and DU coworkers.

“Primarily I hope that I can help others with this disease, and those at risk of getting it,” he says. “I have never done anything like this before … but this event is something special. It is very personal.” 

To sponsor Chris or learn more about his story, visit his fundraising website. For information about the 80 Tour de Cure events nationwide, visit the ADA website.

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