Tomball, TEXAS – Tour for a Cure is an annual event hosted by Cleans for a Cure — a Type 1 diabetes nonprofit dedicated to raising awareness and helping those affected by T1D to thrive. Started in 2014 by Matthew and Jennifer Jenkins of Kernersville, NC, the organization has raised thousands of dollars that has gone to research as well has helping families with financial assistance in the following:
- Diabetes alert dogs
- Insulin pump therapy
- Financial assistance for extended medical stays
- Camp Carolina Trails – grades 3-11
- Nutrition counseling
Through fitness competitions and utilizing the Crossfit® community, Cleans for a Cure emphasizes the importance of physical health not only in T1D management but also in every day life. Last year the program Tour for a Cure raised $3,000 and this year it aims to raise $10,000. The impetus for creating Cleans for a Cure and programs such as these came from the tragic story of Kycie Terry, a young girl who was misdiagnosed with the flu, lapsed into a coma and passed away when her symptoms for Type 1 diabetes were not recognized in time. The lack of awareness surrounding Type 1 diabetes is still pervasive and especially in diagnosis. Jennifer and Mathew Jenkins hope to change that.
The couple raised money for Kycie’s family to help cover medical costs and through those efforts, Cleans for a Cure was born. Mathew was diagnosed at age 12 with Type 1, after months of experiencing declining health. It was obvious to them that there still was a great need to educate and spread awareness as to what warning signs of Type 1 are. Looking back on his diagnosis, Mathew describes feeling different and isolated from his peers. “I didn’t want people to know I had Type 1, and so I didn’t talk about it” he says. These feeling persisted until college when he met his wife, Jennifer. “In fact, I didn’t tell her when we first started dating,” says Mathew. “She found out through Facebook as I had posted something there. She was shocked that I hadn’t told her.”
Mathew feels differently about sharing his Type 1 story today, believing that sharing it with others can help to spread awareness as well as aspire those with type 1 to live healthier lives. “My wife and I felt like there was a real lack of information on fitness and T1D management, so this has been a big focus for us.” The couple are leaders in the Type 1 community, encouraging fitness in order to better manage the chronic illness while raising funds for cure research and family support. The origin of their organization’s name comes from the lifting movement “cleans,” which embodies the work that they do — full-bodied and explosive. Only through disciple and diligence can it be accomplished; only by daily dedication can the desired results be achieved. And this couple is just getting started.
Learn more about Cleans for a Cure and see how you can get involved.