Stop Diabetes Gala Give Award: Why I Ride!

My name is Paul Thorsgaard, and I have had Type 1 diabetes for 41 years, since I was 8 years old.  I have been riding in the Twin Cities Tour de Cure since it began in 1999.  Employees of the ADA and volunteers involved with the Tour de Cure wanted me to start a team after the first year.  It took me a year to decide to start Paul’s Pedalers.  Our first year in 2003 we had 13members and raised $3,220.

I ride in the Tour de Cure for so many reasons:

•    I enjoy riding my bike
•    I have diabetes and the Tour de Cure raises money to research cures
•    Having fun and raising money at the same time
•    Meeting other people that are passionate about diabetes
•    Tour de Cure Twin Cities is so much fun-bells, whistles, music, happy, excited, helpful people, food, beer,
snacks, great routes, and always sunny.  (I might have lied with that last one)
•    Seeing the Twin Cities Tour get bigger and better every year.  I can remember all the different routes,
all the different starting spots, all the different activities, ideas, promotions, and it just keeps getting
better every year.  If for some reason I didn’t participate, I would be afraid of what I would miss.

My passion is biking, and especially mountain (off road) biking.  Over the years, there have been several mounting biking events that happen on the same weekend as the Tour de Cure, but I always pick the Tour de Cure to ride that weekend.  So, it must be worthy.

Having Paul’s Pedalers continue to grow and evolve over the years is an honor.  It is fun to see people return and to recruit other people they know to join the team and ride and to know how much fun they have had participating in the Tour de Cure.  We are now a team of 25 and we keep growing.  I don’t see an end to this.  Well, maybe a cure will be found. Then, I guess, I will have to find something else to do with the first weekend after Memorial Day.

At the American Diabetes Association’s Gala Paul’s Pedalers will be receiving the Stop Diabetes, Give Award for participating as a team in the Twin Cities Tour de Cure and raising $135,000 over 12 years in support of the American Diabetes Association. Paul’s Pedalers has consistently been a top friends and family team and holds the local record for consecutive participation by a team.

The Gala will consist of a silent auction, dinner, live auction, entertainment and presentation of Stop Diabetes awards.

Join Paul’s Pedalers at the Tour de Cure on Saturday, May 31 at Minnehaha Falls.  The Tour has fully supported routes: 7, 18/27, 45, 62, and 100 mile urban century ride! At the finish enjoy lunch, live music, vendor village, massages, and more!  There’s even a beer garden for adults and a kid’s zone for little ones.  Riders with diabetes can choose to be recognized as “Red Riders” and receive VIP treatment, including a free Red Rider cycling jersey.

American Diabetes Association Gala                      Twin Cities Tour de Cure
Saturday, May 3rd @ 6pm                                         Saturday, May 31
Treasure Island Resort & Casino                              Minnehaha Fall, Minneapolis fhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Stop Diabetes Gala: 2014 Award Recipients

Stop Diabetes Extraordinary Effort, Ordinary Day Gala
2014 Award Recipients

This year’s Gala is Saturday, May 3, 2014 at Treasure Island Resort & Casino.  At this event we honor four leaders in our community with the Stop Diabetes Awards: Share, Act, Learn and Give.  This year we are honoring organizations and individuals whose tireless efforts have supported the mission of the American Diabetes Association.  Their contributions have helped make the lives of people with diabetes better through their leadership.  Because of their commitment we move closer to the vision of ADA: a life free of diabetes and all its burdens.

Chuck and Cindy Halstenson • Share Award
For sharing their time, talents and resources with the American Diabetes Association for more than 10 years through volunteering, donating and supporting numerous events and programs.  Through their generosity they have helped raise awareness on diabetes and supported the mission of the American Diabetes Association.

Optum • Act Award
For their efforts in the workplace to engage employees to live a healthier lifestyle through participation in the American Diabetes Association’s Twin Cities Tour de Cure.  Their efforts resulted in 221 participants on their Tour de Cure Team in 2013.

Allina Health • Learn Award
For their Insulin Quick Start Program which allows for same-day initiation of insulin therapy.  Allina is the first Minnesota health system to implement this program.  The Insulin Quick Start Program is critical because it allows patients to start on insulin the same day it is determined by their provider that it is needed.  This program has proven to reduce A1c, average estimated blood glucose which in turn can lead to reduced diabetes complications.

Paul’s Pedalers • Give Award
For participating as a team in the Twin Cities Tour de Cure and raising $135,000 over 12 years in support of the American Diabetes Association. Paul’s Pedalers has consistently been a top friends and family team and holds the local record for consecutive participation by a team.

For more information on the Gala and how you can help, visit

Volunteer at the American Diabetes Association Gala!

The American Diabetes Association – Minnesota Area is looking for volunteers to help with our annual Gala which will be held on Saturday, May 3, 2014 at Treasure Island Resort & Casino.

This black-tie event will focus on the mission of the American Diabetes Association: To prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. The key message of this year’s Gala is Stop Diabetes Extraordinary Effort, Ordinary Day.  At the Gala we hope to highlight the extraordinary efforts that go into managing diabetes and preventing it.

The evening will consist of a silent auction, dinner, award presentation, live auction, and entertainment. The money raised at this event will be used for diabetes research, outreach, education and advocacy.  More information about the gala can be found at

We need your help to make the Gala a success! A sit-down volunteer dinner will be served the night of the event. Specific job descriptions can be found on the volunteer signup website.

In addition to night of event volunteers we are looking for volunteers to help with set-up for the Gala during the day on Friday, May 2nd.

If you’re interested in volunteering, please click here and complete the Volunteer Interest Form by Friday, April 4th. Please feel free to share this volunteer opportunity with others. You will receive a placement email approximately 4 weeks prior to the gala.

If you have questions about volunteering, please contact me or Barb Harris by email at: or call 763-593-5333 ext. 6780.

Thank you for your support! We look forward to seeing you at the Gala!

Win with Walser: Your Ticket to Gala!


2013 'Win with Walser' Winner!

The Walser Foundation wants to give you a chance to ‘Win with Walser!’

This year Walser has chosen to give 2 pairs of their gala tickets to some of our dedicated supporters. We want to hear why you want to be the winner of one of the 2 pairs of tickets to the Gala at Treasure Island on Saturday, May 3rd, 2014 at 6:00PM.

The Grand Prize winner will receive a pair of tickets to the Gala, a Walser Luxury car rental to take you there in style, and an overnight stay at Treasure Island Resort & Casino. This package is valued over $1,000. Runner up will receive a pair of tickets to the Gala valued at $400.

How to enter? Share your story, your involvement with The American Diabetes Association, and anything you want us to know! E-mail it to Jen by Friday, March 14th at and the winner will be announced on March 28th.

Gala Details: Saturday, May 3rd, 2014 at Treasure Island Resort & Casino in Welch, MN at 6:00PM. Black tie admired but not required.

MN Diabetes Camp: Needlepoint & Daypoint

Camp Needlepoint and Camp Daypoint

Registration opens on Saturday, February 1st.
Click here for Camp Needlepoint Session 1: August 10th -16th, 2014
Click here for Camp Needlepoint Session 2: August 17th – 23th, 2014
Click here for Camp Daypoint: August 11th – 15th, 2014

Not sure if diabetes camp is right for you? Check out some of these great stories provided by current campers, counselors, and counselors-in-training (CIT)!

Lauren with the Trekker's Group (she's on the right)



Meet current counselor Lauren. Read her  experience about working at Camp Needlepoint.

Read Lauren’s story by clicking here!





Ben at Camp Needlepoint



Meet current counselor and past Camp Needlepoint camper Ben. He has been attending and working at Camp for more than 7 years!

Read Ben’s story by clicking here!




Ellen doing the high ropes course at CNP!



Meet current Camp Needlepoint camper Ellen. She has been attending Camp for more than 4 years!

Read Ellen’s story by clicking here!





John turned 17 and was able to be a CIT for Camp Daypoint!



Meet John! He has been attended both Camp Daypoint and Camp Needlepoint. This year he turned 17 and was a Counselor-In-Training (CIT).

Read John’s story be clicking here!


Diabetes: Differences Woven in the Fabric

“I had a professor in college who would wear plaid shirts in which the plaid was woven into the fabric. He would never wear a plaid shirt in which the plaid was stamped onto the fabric. He called it the integrity of the fabric. I was thinking then, about the integrity of each thread that is used to weave the fabrics of our life and if/how that integrity is examined when treating people who have diabetes. Would knowing the threads of a person’s fabric help people who have diabetes?

Often in fabric, each thread is different. Some people prefer to wear only cotton, others like a polyester/cotton blend. Some people wear only natural fibers while others do not have a preference. Some people have strong feelings about the thread content, others do not.

Given the thread types, they are woven to make a fabric. Differences may be the weave pattern, the tightness of the weave, the durability of the fabric and the color combinations.

The analogy of comparing threads and fabric to people who have diabetes is similar in that each thread represents a value or a need and when woven together makes the whole person. There are too many combinations of values, needs, desires, goals and education (threads) to make group assumptions about what people with diabetes need in order to take care of themselves. How can a fabric be woven for care of a person with diabetes occur, if the type of threads are not known

In the science realm, we know what needs to happen in order to help someone who has diabetes. Tons of research has been done regarding diet, exercise and regulating blood sugars to a normal level. These are threads that all people with diabetes have in common. But what about the rest of the threads that are not common among all patients and are not scientific?

Could it ever happen that practitioners help people who live daily with diabetes, do some self-examination of their own threads? By identifying the threads that make up their fabric, patients can make goals and the integrity of the fabric can be upheld and celebrated. The threads that are not scientific, and to be truthful are rarely identified in practice, are the threads that make up the success of the patient.’

– A new look at diabetes provided by Catherine Van Hove.

10 reasons why it is good to have type 1 diabetes

10 reasons why it is good to have type 1 diabetes

1. I can get seated at restaurants faster.  My husband has learned to tell the hostess “my wife has diabetes and has to eat”.  It works best if the hostess has a relative with diabetes.  I’m not sure what the percentage would be on that but it must be better than 50/50.

2. I have some wonderful friends whom I would have never met without having diabetes.  93% of the world’s population does not have type 1 diabetes so when you find another one who has it, you know you have found a life long friend.

3. I went to Washington D.C. and learned how to lobby for diabetes.  The American Diabetes Association has a bi-yearly program which you can apply for called Call to Congress.  They pay part of your way and teach you a lot when you get there.

4. I don’t have to eat everything at a potluck dinner.  You know how you are suppose to try a little of everything and even the things that don’t look good to you.  I have a built in excuse….”.I have met my carb limit.  That’s it for me.  Whew!  Gotta take insulin now to cover ALL those carbs.”

5. I have M&Ms in my purse.  I treat myself with a package of M&Ms if my blood sugar goes low.  I feel I deserve a treat since I am experiencing the shakes and sick feeling of blood sugar lows.  I’ve been told it is not the best treatment for lows but it is my “thing”.   If my hubby wants to eat them I yell, “Hey, don’t touch my medicine.

6. It is a miracle I am still alive.  After 35 years of medical people telling me all that could go wrong because I have diabetes, I think it’s a miracle I am still alive.  I think I keep living just to show all of them it can be done.

7. People listen when I talk.  Having diabetes for 35 years makes you something of an expert I guess.  Even though I am an accomplished pianist, my children would never listen to me about how to improve their piano lessons.  I would get the “That’s not what my teacher said!”   Now, strangers even listen to me about diabetes.

8. I get to carry around a computer the size of a cell phone that delivers insulin to me in a predetermined pattern during the day and night.  People are fascinated with it.  It makes me feel smart.   That’s important for someone my age.

9. I have become accustomed to the pains (pricking fingers and injecting) that go along with the disease.   It is my “normal” and I am okay with that.   The old saying, no pain no gain, has a real meaning.

10. I get to write down a list of silly things about a disease that is sometimes looked upon as terrible.  I grew up with a father who had type 1 diabetes and who went blind and died at an early age.  We had a saying in our family that we would either laugh about things or we would cry.   So, here is to lots of laughter and good times ahead.


Cathy Van Hove is a retired Early Childhood Special Education teacher who has been advocating for people with diabetes for many years.


Diabetes Patient Educates Peers on Managing Diabetes: The Next Step

Norma Cannon will be delivering an educational program at the American Diabetes Association Diabetes EXPO on Saturday, October 12th. Norma will share her personal experiences with diabetes and taking insulin to help control her blood sugar.

Are you aware of your A1C level (the ADA recommends an A1C goal of less than 7% for most people with diabetes)? Have you talked with your healthcare provider about an A1C goal that is right for you?  Has your healthcare provider suggested insulin and you’re saying “No way!”? Have you just started insulin and have questions? This session may be for you. Norma lives with diabetes and understands the challenges of controlling blood sugar and starting insulin. Come to this session and find out why you might want to talk to your doctor about whether insulin is right for you.

During this Managing Diabetes: The Next Step presentation, Norma will share:

  • Why insulin is not a sign of failure, but may help you achieve blood sugar control, as part of an overall diabetes treatment plan
  • The concerns she had about starting insulin
  • Misperceptions about insulin

WHEN: Saturday, October 12, 2013 at 1:15 p.m.

WHERE: Minneapolis Convention Center – Room 103DEF

To learn more join us at the American Diabetes Association EXPO which is a free event on Saturday, October 12th at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The managing Diabetes: The Next Step presentation will take place at 1:15 p.m. in meeting room 103DEF.

For more information or to pre-register and receive pre-show announcements pre-register at

Supported by Sanofi US


Join the Pfizer sponsored discussion with Dr. Hess about Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy at the EXPO

Dr. Todd Hess will be presenting a discussion about Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy at the American Diabetes Association Diabetes EXPO on Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013.  Dr. Hess is the Medical Director of the United Pain Center in St. Paul and completed his training at the University of Minnesota and Mayo Clinic.  He is a national thought leader concerning the treatment of chronic pain conditions and serves as a Pain Medicine consultant for the MN Board of Medical Practice, MN Attorney General’s office, and the MN Board of Podiatry.  He is also a national lecturer for the American Academy of Pain Medicine.

Dr. Hess will be speaking at 12:15 p.m. in Meeting Room 103ABC. His presentation, “Diabetes and Painful Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy with a Focus on a Prescription Treatment Option,” will focus on nerve damage, relieving nerve pain, and ways to prevent and treat nerve damage. This presentation is sponsored by Pfizer.

A recent survey of 1,004 people with Type I and II diabetes who have symptoms of diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) and 500 healthcare providers (HCPs) showed that both groups need and want more information about DPN.  If you, a family friend, or a care giver would like to learn more about diabetic peripheral neuropathy, please join us for this informative talk by one of the nation’s top pain doctors.  Pfizer also will have a booth with educational materials and tools relating to this topic at (booth # 413) at the EXPO–please stop by and see us!

We hope to see you at this FREE EVENT on Saturday, October 12th at the Minneapolis Convention Center for the Diabetes EXPO from 9am – 3pm. For more information or to pre-register and receive pre-show announcements visit

James Powers, Executive Chef at Treasure Island Resort and Casino will conduct Healthy Eating Demonstrations at the EXPO

Hello, I am James Powers, Executive Chef at Treasure Island Resort and Casino.  I am very happy to be conducting a Healthy Eating Demonstration for the American Diabetes Association EXPO for a number of reasons.  Most important is that I have witnessed family members and many community members of the Prairie Island Indian Community face constant struggle, with this disease.  The ADA’s commitment to finding a cure and their diligent hard working volunteers inspire me to want to contribute what I can to this worthy cause.

My passion is good food and good food does not always mean bad for you.  My recipe is a classic favorite with a few simple alterations that make it something that everyone can enjoy.I will be preparing Chicken and Sausage Couscous Jambalaya.  It is a similar but simpler version that lets the natural flavors of the ingredients come through.  Sautéing the chicken and sausage together is where the base flavor for the meal comes from.  Traditional Jambalaya is usually spicy, but this version is milder and features the combination of bell peppers, onions and garlic instead.  Rather than the traditional, white rice, couscous is substituted which keeps it something everyone can enjoy but does not take away from the flavor or texture of the original dish.

Below is the recipe for the Chicken and Sausage Couscous Jambalaya

Serves: 6
Servings: 1 ½ cups

1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into small strips
Salt and pepper to taste (optional)
5 oz reduced-fat sausage, cut into slices
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 cups fat-free low-sodium chicken broth
½ cup chopped tomatoes
2 bay leaves
1 ½ cups couscous

1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper (if using). In a large nonstick saucepan coated with nonstick cooking spray, cook the chicken and sausage over medium heat for about 4 minutes, stirring constantly.
2. Add the onion, green pepper, and garlic and cook for 5 minutes or until tender. Add the chicken broth, tomatoes, and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Stir in couscous, cover, and remove from heat. Let sit for 5 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Fluff with fork and season with salt and pepper (if using). Remove bay leaves before serving.

Nutritional Information:
2 Starch
½ Carbohydrate
4 Very Lean Meat

Calories                                    348
Calories from Fat                  37
Total Fat                                   4 g
Saturated Fat                         1 g
Cholesterol                              81 mg
Sodium                                     324 mg
Carbohydrate                         39 g
Dietary Fiber                          3 g
Sugars                                      3 g
Protein                                     37 g

From Holly Clegg’s Trim and Terrific™ Diabetic Cooking

I hope you will join me for this FREE EVENT ON Saturday, October 12th at the Minneapolis Convention Center for the Diabetes EXPO from 9am – 3pm. For more information or to pre-register and receive pre-show announcements pre-register at