Siblings Bike Across the Country To Raise Diabetes Awareness

Justin Mann and his sister Ashtyn rode their bicycles for over 3,500 miles in 64 days, going across 12 states and three mountain ranges for diabetes. The brother and sister combo started in Oregon and finished in South Carolina, raising money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

"It's already cool enough for someone who is not diabetic to make it across the country," says Justin in a local TV interview. "What if a diabetic? A lot of people think shouldn't or couldn't do this kind of thing."

Justin was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of six.

"It was a pretty terrifying moment in my life," he said. "The first thing I heard was 'die.'" He had to adjust to wearing an insulin pump and turned to sports as an outlet for his fear. He ultimately went on to play football for UCLA and Washington State, but had never ridden a bicycle for anything more than a neighborhood jaunt until he began training for this cross-country ride a couple of weeks before the brother and sister left.

Justin credits his sister Ashtyn for coming up with the idea. The two met a lot of people along the route and were able to talk about why they were riding and the foundation for which they were raising money. That turned into more donations as the goodwill continued.

They remember their ride fondly, but say that while the mountain ranges were tough, the wind in Kansas was the toughest part of the ordeal.

Source: ABC15.com

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