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After 9-year-old Bluffton resident Niklas DiCarlo was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes last year, his parents decided to roll out a local fundraiser for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
His parents, Sgt. Bob DiCarlo of the Beaufort County Sheriff's Department and Michele DiCarlo, a manager and personal trainer at Breakthrough Fitness in Bluffton, held a RIDe for Juvenile Diabetes in October and are gearing up for another Saturday. The ride is so named to emphasize the DiCarlos' wish to get rid of juvenile diabetes.
Now a 10-year-old who will attend sixth grade in the fall, Niklas is adjusting to life as a diabetic and getting used to his new insulin pump. Although he is a little nervous about pedaling
50 miles around Bluffton, he is mostly just excited about riding with two professional cyclists -- Stradford Helms and Simon Bennett -- both members of the Type 1 Development Team, a competitive group of international athletes who have Type 1 diabetes.
Niklas said he is thankful for all the people who are planning to attend the upcoming fundraiser.
"I think it means a lot that they're coming to help cure diabetes," he said.
Money raised at Saturday's ride will go to the JDRF Palmetto Chapter based in Columbia. The event will begin with registration at 7:30 a.m. at Corks Neighborhood Wine Bar and Captain Woody's in the Calhoun Street Promenade in Bluffton. Registration is $20 a person; children age 12 and under are free.
Participants will have four different rides from which to choose. The three bicycle routes -- a 50-mile ride leaving at 8:30 a.m., a 20-mile ride at 9:30 a.m. and a relaxed 3- to 4-mile family ride at 10:30 a.m. -- will be in and around Bluffton. There also is a 10 a.m. motorcycle ride that will start at the promenade and travel to Beaufort, Yemassee and Ridgeland before heading back to Bluffton.
All participants must wear helmets to join the ride.
For those who would rather not ride or don't have $20 to spend, there will be plenty of opportunities to support the diabetes foundation after the main event. While participating cyclists get to eat free, others are invited to purchase food and drinks after the ride. There will be a raffle, silent auction, live entertainment and bounce houses for the kids. The event will continue until 7 p.m.
"We turn the promenade into a gigantic festival," Bob DiCarlo said.
Details: 843-368-0020, 843-368-0335, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.ridewithniklas.com