Sansum Diabetes Research Institute (SDRI) is one of two beneficiaries of one man’s remarkable fundraising effort. Flint Ogle, the father of a 10-year old boy living with type 1 diabetes (T1D), plans to complete 22 separate 100-mile bike rides this year, raising essential funds for both SDRI and JDRF.
May 18 marks just over six years, or about 2,200 days, since Ogle’s son Beckett was diagnosed with T1D at age 4. If Beckett can tackle T1D diabetes for 2,200 days with perseverance and good humor, then Ogle believes he can ride 2,200 miles on a bicycle.
“My inspiration is to celebrate the strength and resilience of my son and other children with T1D, and to help find a cure, so they can be free of the disease in the future,” said Ogle.
When JDRF’s annual Ride to Cure Diabetes was cancelled due to the pandemic, Ogle thought of a way to fundraise in lieu of the official ride. His goal is to raise $50,000 for JDRF, the world’s largest nonprofit supporter of T1D research.
For every dollar Ogle raises in support of JDRF, a generous donor will make a matching contribution to Sansum Diabetes Research Institute, up to $50,000.
The Ogle family, which endured the wildfires, mudslides and multiple evacuations in recent years in Montecito, has moved to Grand Junction, CO., but still has ties to Santa Barbara. Ogle will do the first half of his 100-mile bike rides in Colorado and the last half in the Santa Barbara area.
“Both JDRF and SDRI have been directly involved with advancing treatment and potential cures,” Ogle said. “I’d love to have more people join in to help fill the gap for both SDRI and JDRF. It’s necessary right now.
“When somebody gives $1, they know they are giving $1 to JDRF and they’re triggering a matching donation to Sansum Diabetes Research Institute.”
“We are incredibly grateful to Flint for his generous support of both Sansum Diabetes Research Institute and JDRF,” said Ellen Goodstein, SDRI executive director. “We are in awe of his determination to raise critical funding and awareness for those impacted by diabetes.
“Flint’s efforts are such an inspiration to the diabetes community and provides hope for a better future.”
“On behalf of the Los Angeles Chapter of JDRF, we applaud this unique fundraising initiative set forth by Flint Ogle and his son, Beckett.,” said Daren Dickerson, board president, JDRF Los Angeles.
“JDRF shares a vision with the Ogle family and SDRI to improve the lives of everyone affected by T1D and ultimately discover cures for this autoimmune disease. Best of luck, Ogle family,” Dickerson said.
Ogle has completed three of his “century” rides on April 19, May 2 and May 17. He plans to ride “a 100” each weekend, finishing during National Diabetes Awareness Month — November.
The rides will be solitary as long as social distancing is necessary, but, Ogle hopes to have a group bike ride in Santa Barbara by the end of summer that includes riders from JDRF and SDRI.
“This is a critical time. I think it’s essential to keep the fundraising going after the cancellation of so many in-person events,” said Ogle. “If that fundraising stops, potentially there’s a pause in the research pipeline that delays a new treatment. My goal is to broaden the reach; a win-win for both organizations.”
SDRI’s website, www.sansum.org/follow-flint, has a link to Ogle’s fundraising webpage if you would like to donate, follow his progress, or learn more about his Rides for the Cure.