Lew Alexander, a North Richland Hills, Texas, resident, was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 2008. Alexander had a family history of the disease, but didn't expect the disease to hit him in his mid-40s. He thought he would have more time.
Alexander's doctor gave him a choice: risk complications of the disease or change his lifestyle. Alexander decided to take charge. He improved his eating habits and started getting more exercise, which brought him to spin class and later road cycling. Very quickly, he started feeling better.
But it wasn't an easy path to better health. In March of 2010, Alexander's leg was crushed in a motorcycle accident. It would take six months and nine surgeries to get him back on the bicycle.
"In 2012," he says, "I ... decided that, to announce that I'm fully recovered, I'm going to ride a full century, which is 100 miles."
That ride eventually led Alexander to his first 'Tour de Cure,' a series of cycling events that raise money for the American Diabetes Association. Now, Alexander is back on his bike, cycling in 'Tour de Cure' rides around the country to raise money for diabetes research. This July, he'll be up north for the New England Classic, a 550-mile Tour de Cure through Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont.
"I always knew I was going to be doing something to control my diabetes. I was going to figure out a way to not let this disease get the best of me.
"So far, I've ridden in 35 Tours de Cure. I've raised almost $45,000."
Lew Alexander tells his story, In His Own Words. To hear the full story, click the play button below the headline at the top of the page.
This segment aired on May 28, 2016.