SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Dave Madewell is sitting in sort of a hot seat: When 10 On Your Side met the retired Chesapeake firefighter, he was being grilled by his Diabetes Nurse Practitioner, Dana Stallings, with Bayview Physician’s Group Endocrinology practice.

“No more jobs, so we can focus on the diabetes, right?” she asked while pointing out areas of high and low sugars on a screen.

Madewell was driving the engine back from a fire one day when suddenly he didn’t feel right.

“I looked over and asked the lieutenant, I want to stop and get somebody to check my vital signs. Vital signs were good, but when he checked my sugar it was boom — off the record — it was too high to read,” Madewell told WAVY.

Thus began his 20-year battle with blood sugars.

“He’s gained weight, he’s been hospitalized for heart disease, all as a result of diabetes and not being able to keep him in constant control,” Stallings said.

It’s for people like Madewell, that the American Diabetes Association holds the Tour de Cure.

Money raised at the event helps pay for research of new medications and technologies. The ADA has also been instrumental in rolling out co-pay initiatives and lobbying congress to cap the cost of insulin.

“So that patients aren’t forced to choose between paying $300 for their life-saving medication or paying their electric bill,” Stallings told us.

It’s thanks to research and a program supported by the ADA, Madewell now wears a device that constantly monitors his sugar level and regulates his insulin with little effort.

“Life is just one step at a time and every day I live, I feel good about it,” he said.

The WAVY warriors will be riding in the Tour de Cure in two weeks, on April 30, at Windsor Castle Park in Smithfield.

There are four different cycling routes for all levels, from 12 to 100 miles. If you would like to ride with us, or for more information on contributing click here.