What’s your Story?
Carlo grew up in London, ON but now lives in Ingersol, ON. When playing Jr. B Hockey, Carlo met another player with diabetes who eventually went on to play hockey at Princeton University. Athleticism must run in our genes!
Just before Carlo’s diagnosis, he remembers going through the ‘standards’–drinking lots, peeing lots. Eventually his mother got suspicious and brought him to the doctors for tests. Carlo remembers the next morning, while his mother was out running some errands, discovering the most giant and delicious looking chocolate cake in his fridge. Feeling sorry for himself, he cut the largest slice he had ever seen, got out a fork, brought his fork to his mouth… and the phone rang. His doctor was on the line and, after realizing that his mother wasn’t home, told him the news–Carlo had diabetes. “Oh,” he said, ” so this gigantic piece of choclate cake I’m about to eat is
probably not a good idea then?” He and his doctor broke out laughing, as his doctor told him that there was a bed at University Hospital waiting for him. In honour of his diagnosis story, every birthday Carlo makes sure that he has the biggest piece of cake out of everyone who is there!
Carlo was diagnosed in 1987 and has been living with diabetes for 23 years. When he was diagnosed he was put into a special study where his pancreas was ‘frozen’, so to speak, in order to attempt to save any remaining beta cells. He was started on cyclosporene (an anti-rejection drug given to transplant patients) as doctors believed that diabetes was a disease of the auto-immune system. Doctors hoped that they could ‘trick’ Carlo’s body into stopping the attack on his beta cells and to eventually wean him off of injected insulin. By the end of 1987, Carlo was weaned to 2 units of Regular Insulin (R) per day and eventually stopped injections all together. Unfortunately, Carlo only lasted 2 weeks without insulin, and his sugars began to ‘creep’ back up again. Today, Carlo wears a Medtronic Pump and a Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM).
Carlo is a father of two children, a husband and a teacher of intermediate math, science, visual arts and physical education. He put together his own cycling team and competes in the Ontario Cycling Association O-Cup series. He races at the Master CAT 1 Level.
What keeps you ‘In Motion’?
Carlo’s passion is cycling. He placed 10th at the Provincial Time Trial (37km) with a time of 51 minutes 46 seconds (average of 44.6 km/hour)! Carlo has always enjoyed biking and competed in his first race in 2004. After finishing his University hockey career, he found that he was only able to get on the ice twice a week and knew that he needed to do more to stay healthy! Carlo’s wife suggested that they both buy bikes so they could ride together and Carlo fell in love with the trails! He began saving his money to buy a better quality mountain bike, and by the end of the year, had bought a full-suspension bike and met some local riders that competed with a mountain bike team!
Carlo’s first race, in 2004, was the Paris to Ancaster. He completed the 60km race in just over 3 hours (Carlo says it almost killed him!) and was hooked! Carlo’s new biking friends convinced him to buy a road bike to train on and the following year, Carlo was able to finish the Paris to Ancaster race in 2 hours and 19 minutes! That time qualified Carlo to start with the top 250 riders the following year. Carlo’s cycling has helped him to not only stay fit and healthy but to control his weight. Carlo has lost nearly 40 pounds since he started cycling!
Carlo decided to try road racing 4 years ago. He was given a book on cycling training and began that September so he could
be ready for the first race in April. There are 3 categories in Masters racing: Cat 3 is made up of new riders with lesser ability through to Cat 1, made up of more elite riders. Carlo’s first race was in Hamilton, Ontario–AND HE WON! His second race was in London where he came third and was moved up to Cat 2. He came 9th in my first cat 2 race and it took
him the rest of that season and half of last season to finally move up to Cat 1 where speeds are much faster and races are more tactical. Depending on the course, average speeds will range from 40 to 45 kph with distances range from 90 to 130km. Last year, Carlo raced at the St. Lawrence Market Criterium in Toronto in front of 6000-7000 spectators! He placed 6th overall–3rd in his class (mixed race). If he goes back this year, Master 1 will race with the Pro racers!! If he does it, he’ll need the support of Connected in Motion because it will be painful!!