Saddleback Supports JDRF!

Saddleback stands up in the fight against type 1 diabetes!  Saddleback makes excessively high quality, tough and functional leather designs.  Their designs are classic and stunning!  As most know my 3 year old daughter has Type 1 diabetes, every day for her is a fight to stay in the goal blood sugar range.  It’s so hard for her because her body is so tiny that any little bit of carbs can spike her blood sugar and even the “correct” amount of insulin can make her drop.  Every year more and more children are getting diagnosed, it’s time we find a cure and put and end to the constant checks, pokes, and snacks.  I’m so thankful that there are companies and business out there who care enough to donate to the cause.  Remember we get closer and closer with every little bit!
2012 JDRF Death Valley Ride For the Cure
My niece Grace was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes at the age of seven. To help put an end to this life-threatening disease, Saddleback is sponsoring a team for this year’s Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund (JDRF) Ride For the Cure Century Ride in Death Valley. It’s a cool way to get together and show support and fundraise for a great cause. Saddleback, TrueBlue (our manufacturing facility) and CSI (our shipper, owned by Grace’s mom) have come together to pledge $80,000+ to our riding team. All the money goes straight to JDRF’s artificial pancreas research.
I’m excited to Welcome Saddleback Family Member Robin Ross from Ann Arbor, Michigan onto Team Grace. She’ll be riding with me and the rest of the team this October. Robin is a Vitreoretinal surgeon and diabetic clinical researcher. Sounds like she knows a thing or two about diabetes. She took a break from training and work for a chat with us.
Robin Ross
Great to meet you, Robin! Tell us a little more about your work.
I manage diabetic retinopathy both medically and surgically. Diabetes can cause blindness, kidney failure requiring dialysis and nerve damage which leads to foot ulcers and amputation. By 2035, 439 million people worldwide will have diabetes. This potential for complications causes a huge personal cross to bear for each diabetic and a huge socioeconomic burden to our medical system and the lost work force. A cure for diabetes requires a “team” approach – researchers, physicians, and fundraising.
Absolutely. What was your first Saddleback piece?
I bought several pieces at once preparing for a trip to Africa. I had a soft camera gear pack with three bodies and lenses no padding and I placed it inside the Saddleback Duffel and carried it on. I bought an iPad case and a MacBook Air sleeve and placed them inside a small backpack with all my camera cords.
That’s great. Any cool stories about your leather?
No Masai spear stories, but if you invent a classic leather saddle for my bike I would have one…just kidding. Coming back from Africa, I landed in Atlanta to return to my home state of Michigan. I had one hour to gather my luggage, clear customs, and get my passport stamped. I had checked only my Saddleback Duffel with my camera, tripods and accessory camera gear. It was first off the baggage carousel with a “handle with care” tag and it’s own special bin. I grabbed it off the carousel thinking, “sweet”! Several people including the Delta attendant directing me said, “nice bag”. I was surprised that it looked brand new still after the long journey back.
What are you most looking forward to about the ride?
The scenery. Rather than focusing on a finish, I plan to enjoy the beautiful time of year in Death Valley. It is perhaps the most beautiful time of year to see one of our most scenic national landmarks. This will be my first big century ride.
This will be Dave’s first century ride too. Or any ride over 15 miles for that matter. Any cycling advice for him?
Have all your children before the race :). Change your office chair to a bike seat. Train part of the time in shorts without padding. Invent the first Saddleback classic leather bike seat – it will make a great “Dave video” and it will do a “twofer”; help with fundraising and be an additional classic Dave video that will continue fundraising after the race. Try to do at least 70 miles before d-day. Attitude and mental toughness is really half the battle.
Why do you want to ride with Team Grace?
The opportunity to ride with Team Grace, encourage awareness of diabetes and help fundraise is a real honor. I am blessed with good health. When I am on the bike and riding and my butt hurts or my legs ache, I think about our diabetic patients with neuropathy of the legs and I think, they live with this ache day in and day out. You are healthy. This is a one day ride in a beautiful spot. Saddle up and ride.
Thanks for talking with us Robin! See you in the desert!

Every time you make a donation to Team Grace, we’ll send you a cool leather JDRF Gracelet. This Death Valley ride is a great way for people to come together and show my niece Grace and others like her that this is a global effort to help save and extend lives. Thanks to Robin for all her hard work in the fight against diabetes.

Robin Ross

We’re also supporting JDRF by donating the proceeds from all the Dave’s Deals vintage bags we sell in our eBay store. Speaking of that…EbayVintage Dave’s Deals Are Back on eBay

We’ve been selling vintage Dave’s Deals on eBay for a few weeks now. The original plan was to donate 10% of each sale  toward our JDRF fundraising pledge. But once we saw that some of the  bags were auctioning for well over their retail price, I figured we  might as well donate 100% of the proceeds above the retail cost of the  bag to JDRF (we’ll still donate 10% of the sale to JDRF on items that  auction for retail or below). I usually keep pretty quiet about the  various causes and charities that Saddleback is involved with, but this  one is a little different. I want to get the word out about JDRF for  Grace and all the other people out there suffering from this terrible  disease. You don’t even have to buy a bag to get involved. You can go to the JDRF site directly and make a tax-deductible donation to help fund their research. Every little bit helps. Check out the JDRF Team Grace page on our site for more info.
I  also brought my dad Herb back onboard to run the auctions, just like he  did way back in 2005 when Saddleback was just getting started. He was  really good at it. So head on over to our eBay store and see what Herb’s got going today.
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