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Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Godspeed Jesse International Cycling Team - the journey begins

Today I received an email from Katie Clark, a mom on a mission for her little girl - to cure diabetes. I've known Katie for many years - through the JDRF Children's Congress (where both of our kids participated), working together on the JDRF Online Diabetes Support Team and most recently - the JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes. Today she told me that many are planning to ride on the "Godspeed Jesse" team, and a blog might be appropriate. Please join it if you are riding.

As you all know, my 13 year old son, Jesse Alswager, died unexpected from DKA on 2/3/10. It was sudden with no time for that "coma"...just gone. You can read more at:

The outpouring from the world has been overwhelming and appreciated. This blog focuses on one area - riding in Jesse's honor all over the world.

When Jesse died I was signed up to ride in Lake Tahoe for JDRF. I had decided to return to riding in his honor after my good friend, Tim Kritter, told me it was time to get back into raising money for the cure. On 2/2 our family sat down for a family dinner and we talked about the ride in Tahoe. Charles and Jesse were giving me flack, teasing me that I was signing up because I enjoy the party and fun. I got defensive and said, "Come on, you know the real reason I ride." Jesse looked at me and said, "Mom seriously, chill. Like you don't do ANYTHING for me and my diabetes. " (Or something like that) The next morning I sent my fundraising email out saying that I should not get a break from fundraising when I tell Jesse there is no break from his diabetes.

That day he died.

I've ridden my bike in the name of diabetes in many places - Death Valley, Carmel, CA, Whitefish, MT - even Spain. I decided I needed to go back to Death Valley - for Jesse.

To my wonderful surprise and in all of my sadness, I watched as a friend put out his laptop at Jesse's benefit and watched friends and family - many who don't own bikes - sign up to ride with me in Death Valley. Then came the emails and messages from all over the world saying they would like to dedicate a ride - a race - a run - an ironman - to Jesse.

I'm creating this blog as a place for all of you to come together to ride and train together for your rides this year. If you are interested, we will be getting "Godspeed Jesse' bike jerseys that will also have this graphic on the back and will say, "It's better to burn out, then to fade away." Words Jesse lived by.