LEXINGTON, Ky.(WKYT)- Hundreds of runners, walkers and cyclists will all gather at Keeneland Saturday May 19 to join in the fight against diabetes at the Tour de Cure benefiting the American Diabetes Association.
One team participating this weekend is headed up by a spunky 7-year-old who has spent the last year managing the highs and lows of diabetes and who hopes one day to help find a cure.
Like most little girls, playtime for Elin Thomas is a fun time, but if you listen closely to this 7-year-old you will find playtime often mirrors real life. Elin's dolls often have their blood sugar tested and she talks with them a lot about diabetes.
Her mom, Amanda Thomas remembers a time last year when something wasn't right with her little girl.
"She was up going to the bathroom a lot, drinking a lot more. We went to a UK Women's basketball game, she had cotton candy and slept through the whole game and was in the bathroom the whole time with nothing to drink," said Amanda Thomas.
In January of 2017 Elin was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, something that hit home for dad Kenny who is also type 1. Kenny couldn't believe his little girl was diagnosed with a disease he had been battling since high school.
"Took time to compose myself and then realized I've done well and I've gotten through this, it can be controlled," said Kenny Thomas.
Elin now wears a pump, pricks her finger multiple times a day and inputs her readings into an app that allows her parents to track her.
"People think you just dose for insulin and call it a day, it's not that simple. We literally count every carb that goes into her mouth," said Amanda Thomas.
Elin is not letting diabetes get the best of her, instead she's giving back. She is a 2018 Youth Ambassador for the American Diabetes Association and her Tiara's and Teststrips fundraising team has raised thousands for diabetes research and care.
"It's helping because more people come every year and I get more money to give to the Diabetes Association," said Elin Thomas
Supporting the ADA is a way for this family who lives diabetes daily to give back together. Through their support they hope Elin knows one thing.
"That she has some support, that she sees other children and adults living happy, healthy lives," said Thomas.
This weekend you can ride your bike, run or walk to help support the American Diabetes Association. The Tour de Cure begins at nine at Keeneland, for more information click on the link on this page.