30 Stories of Diabetes Education: Carlos Gravis

Carlos Gravis

Riding to Stop Diabetes

My name is Carlos Gravis and I have lived in Montgomery for the past 10 years.

When my family and I moved to the Montgomery, we were looking for a doctor in the area, so we decided to go together to see a family practitioner, get a physical exam and decide if this was the doctor for us. I was shocked when a few days later I received a call from the doctor's office, asking for me to get a second blood test, as my glucose levels came up high. I was shocked and thought the lab must have made a mistake. My A1C measure was 7.0 At 5'10" and 137 pounds, I was officially a diabetic. There is no history of diabetes in my family. My diagnosis most likely resulting from poor diet, stress and a sedentary lifestyle.

We first tried to control the disease with diet and some lifestyle changes. Did not quite work. The doctor added Metformin to my treatment plan. This improved things somewhat, but by no means was I satisfied with the result. We had discussed the need for exercise, but with my long work hours and long commute, I could not find a way to fit it in my schedule. I finally decided, Why not ride a bike as part of my commute?

I started riding 4 miles to and from a local Park N Ride facility. This made all the difference! I became somewhat obsessed with bike riding, and today I ride up to 22 miles each day on most fair weather days. I soon became aware of the American Diabetes Association and their fundraising ride, the Tour de Cure. I have been involved with them as a volunteer, advocate and fund raiser for the past ten years, often riding 62 miles on their event. Today, my role is that of "Red Rider Chair". My job is to represent all riders with diabetes, and work to improve their riding experience at the Tour de Cure.

Today, I am 50 years old, live with my wonderful wife and beautiful daughter, and I look forward to many years of active and healthy life, thanks in part to the ADA and the Tour de Cure.