COLUMBIA, Mo. ― Two University of Missouri Children’s Hospital pediatricians will tackle a grueling 340-mile route along the Missouri River this summer to raise money and awareness for Type 1 diabetes patients. The physicians will compete in the seventh annual Missouri 340, from Kansas City, Mo., to St. Charles, Mo., from 7 a.m. Tuesday, July 31, through midnight, Friday, Aug. 3.
Thomas Selva, M.D., a pediatrician at Children’s Hospital and associate chair for clinical affairs in the Department of Child Health at the MU School of Medicine, and Timothy Fete, M.D., medical director of Children's Hospital, chair of the Department of Child Health and Children's Miracle Network Professor in Pediatrics at the MU School of Medicine, will compete in the race to raise funds for take-home medical supplies for pediatric diabetes patients.
Also participating on the Children’s Hospital team are Fete family members Tim, Nathan and Matthew Fete, along with Fete’s son-in-law John Cooper. The team’s ground crew will be provided by spouses and Children’s Hospital staff, coordinated by Keri Simon, C.P.A., M.H.A., executive director of Women’s and Children’s Hospital. Simon’s husband Doug also will participate in the race as part of the Children’s Hospital team.
Selva, an avid woodworker in his spare time, built his own cedar strip kayak in 2011 and will race it in this year’s competition.
“Having grown up near the ocean and sailed most of my young life, I couldn’t fight the urge to get back on the water,” said Selva. “I was intrigued when a co-worker recently told me about the Missouri 340 after I had recounted one of my weekend excursions in my kayak. I then mentioned it to my chairman, Timothy Fete, during a meeting, and he was also excited about the idea. That is how it all started.”
Selva invites anyone interested in helping his team raise funds for MU Children’s Hospital diabetes patients to make a one-time gift or per-mile pledge.
“Children with Type 1 diabetes have to learn to assess their diet at every meal, make decisions on insulin dosing and check their blood sugar several times a day,” said Selva, who has two children with Type 1 diabetes. “It’s very important to provide supplies for families to take home after diagnosis, to start these kids and their parents off on the right foot. While insurance may cover the hospitalization or physician visits, medical supplies often aren’t covered or are covered differently. The funds we raise on this race will go a long way in making a difference for the Missouri families we care for.”
“Being involved in this race will be fun, for sure, but it will be personal as well,” said Fete. “Every team member gets what this is about and is happy to help in our goal to raise money to provide the best start possible for every child diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes who is cared for by our superb team at Children’s Hospital.”
The Missouri 340 is a water-craft endurance race. Participants are allowed 88 hours to complete the course. Each race craft must be propelled exclusively by paddling from start to finish. No sails, towing or motors are allowed.
To make a pledge or read more about the Children’s Hospital team’s adventure, please visit Selva’s blog at www.racingfordiabetes.blogspot.com or contact Dale Powers at (573) 884-1190 for more information.