Mike Belfiore got involved with JDRF in December of 2011. Type 1 diabetes (T1D) had been a part of his life ever since he could remember. Growing up, both his father and aunt lived with the debilitating disease. Once diagnosed he made adjustments to his daily life by adjusting eating habits, checking blood sugar levels and administering insulin. Later, his aunt would also be diagnosed and the disease would take its toll on both of them as they got older.
In November of 2011, his best friend’s infant daughter was diagnosed with T1D. Thankfully after several tense days in the hospital, she was released to go home. But the challenges for her and her family had just begun as their lives and daily routine would be forever changed. Knowing those challenges, Mike decided to help.
He launched his own Team JDRF Challenge fundraiser and encouraged his friends and family to help as well. “This hit home for me” Mike said at the time. “I have two little girls myself. With my father and aunt both being type 1 diabetics, I have seen first hand what the disease does, and there is a chance that one day, one of my girls may be affected. Through all of this, I have been inspired to do something about it.”As a former runner, he decided to hold the Team JDRF Challenge at a 10k race he participated in during high school and called the event Return to Running for Belle and Friends. This will marked his first actual training and competitive race in over 15 years. He set a fundraising goal of $5,000 and a personal performance goal of beating his all-time personal best in the race. Unfortunately, the running part was easier said than done, but he and his friends raised over $6,000. “I guess I should have known that I wouldn’t get back to where I was in just 7 months of training, but it was a great experience. I ran well, had fun and more importantly, we by far eclipsed our fundraising goal.”Recently, Mike was hired as the Director of Athletics at Bronx Community College. Part of his role in the position is serving as the Meet Director for the annual “Run the Bronx” 10k/5k/2mile walk. This race is in its 35th year, and was initiated as a way to promote healthy living in an area that is routinely rated as one of the overall least healthy counties in New York State. That mission continues to this day and through his new position, Bronx Community College is joining battle against T1D by partnering with JDRF. Mike will be starting a new Team JDRF team to help fundraise on behalf of JDRF at the race. Those interested in joining or supporting CLICK HERE and register for the “Run the Bronx” race at http://www.bcc.cuny.edu/10krun/