By Wendy Sarubbi | March 18, 2013 4:05 pm

With the words, “Learn, Live, Ride” on special UCF College of Medicine jerseys, eleven M.D. student bicyclists joined more than 1,000 riders March 17 for Orlando’s Tour de Cure, a bicycle race dedicated to ending diabetes.

The ride included journeys of 10, 25, 50, 70 and 101 miles and began and ended at the College of Medicine campus at Lake Nona. Tour de Cure @ Lake Nona hoped to raise $500,000 and so far has received almost $360,000 in donations. Included in that total is $2,500 from the College of Medicine. The money will fund diabetes research, education and advocacy in support of the American Diabetes Association.

First-year student Michael Metzner, who organized the College of Medicine team, said he was about to give up on his 101-mile ride. “I was in the middle of nowhere, with no one, in ‘cow pasture’ land when this man who was sitting outside of his trailer saw me. He was wearing a shirt saying ‘I have diabetes.’ He did his best to get out of his chair and started clapping. Needless to say that got me through the second 50 miles.”

Second-year medical student Mark Siegel rode the 70-mile trek, twice his longest ride ever. He rode with bicyclists from Florida Hospital, who encouraged him when he began to tire. “It was fantastic,” he said of the team effort for diabetes. “What a cool effort when you work together for a common goal.”

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