Rider Profile: JoAnne Cutler
JDRF Super Calves Team (JoAnne Cutler, far left, with her team from Scotiabank)
As JoAnne Cutler ramps up to participate in her 9th JDRF Ride for Diabetes Research, we got the chance to sit down and talk to her about what her experience has been like thus far.
JoAnne began participating in the JDRF Ride when she joined Scotiabank in 2006. As an organization, Scotiabank encourages staff to participate and get involved. She described the JDRF Ride as a fun, very high energy, excellent opportunity for team building while raising funds for a very important cause.
JoAnne had an understanding of what funding research would mean to individuals and families affected by type 1 diabetes (T1D) through the diagnosis of a family friend’s child. The JDRF Ride became a more personal mission for JoAnne and her fellow Scotiabank riders in 2013, when the grandson of a co-worker was diagnosed with T1D. Now they were not only riding for research, but for a specific individual.
But in January of 2014, the unexpected happened, JoAnne’s son Ben was diagnosed with T1D. For 8 years JoAnne rode for the cause and now the disease that she was working to fund research for, hit too close to home. JoAnne explained that being a part of the JDRF Ride and connecting with people who were affected by T1D helped her family to recognize the symptoms and react quickly when her son became ill. When JoAnne’s son was diagnosed she realized how much more they had to learn to manage the disease safely and effectively, and the importance and impact of research.
Now with a very personal connection to T1D, JoAnne continues her mission to help JDRF raise money for research to cure, better treat and prevent the disease. She encourages people to get involved with the JDRF Ride and reminds everyone that even if you do not have a direct connection to the disease, you never know when you will.