A group of diabetics, along with friends and whānau, are set to tackle a 125km mountain bike challenge.
The group of Rotorua riders are on a mission to raise funds and awareness for type 1 diabetes (T1D).
On April 17 the seven-strong team will take part in the Contact Epic, a gruelling mountain bike ride around Lake Hawea in the South Island.
Team member Aaron Perry grew up in Rotorua biking the local trails from a young age.
Perry was diagnosed with T1D at 16 but it did not slow him down. In 2013, he went to ride professionally as part of Team Novo Nordisk, an all T1D professional cycling team in the United States.
"That team is comprised of all T1D riders and competes at the highest level of professional cycling," he said.
"It's trying to show nothing is out of your limits and you can compete with this condition. It's about breaking barriers because there is a lot of misinformation out there about what you can and can't do. Sport is actually really beneficial for people with type 1."
Perry is now an ambassador for JDRF - nonprofit funder of type 1 diabetes research - and has pushed to get the charity started here in New Zealand.
"I want to give T1D a voice here in New Zealand and give support to the more than 26,000 Kiwis living with this lifelong condition.
"When I was with the professional cycling team, I was exposed to the latest technology in managing diabetes – I want New Zealanders to have the opportunity to access that.
"New Zealand is currently quite a way behind in looking after T1D, it's all bunched together with type 2. I've been fortunate enough to have this opportunity and I'd hate for it to go to waste so I want to bring New Zealand up to speed with what's out there."
He said rather than the condition preventing him from participating in activities, being active actually helped him manage it.
"It actually affects me in a good way. It has a good effect on maintaining stable blood pressures and things like that."
Another rider on the Rotorua team, Kate Bone, was diagnosed with T1D just two years ago.
"After being diagnosed out of the blue, I set out on a quest to prove to myself and to other diabetics that I could do anything," she said.
"It seems that riding 125km around Lake Hawea is the latest anything to cross my path."
T1D is a lifelong autoimmune disease that can be diagnosed at any age.
People with T1D cannot produce insulin naturally. Insulin is what the body uses to control glucose (sugar) levels. Without insulin, type 1 diabetics must take it either through daily injections or from an insulin pump.
For Bone, that means "having my pump attached to me at all times, constantly checking my blood sugar levels but also making sure I still live my life".
The organisation the team is raising funds for, JDRF, is the leading supporter of T1D research in the world.
Another rider, Clement Holgate, was diagnosed 20 years ago, aged 15.
"I didn't know what T1D was – I didn't realise that I would be injecting myself six to seven times a day and having to control my glucose levels all the time. I was lucky – I was an active kid so it was about managing my diabetes to fit into my lifestyle.
"Anyone can sign up to join the team and support the fundraising or if you'd rather let someone else do the mountain biking, you can still support with a donation. Every little bit helps."
Other members of the team include Nicola Smallwood, Clare Barratt-Wood, Barbara and Peter Jenks and Coralie O'Connell.
They have already smashed their fundraising goal of $10,000 with $10,595 raised so far but every bit helps. You can support online or sign up to join the team at jdrf-nz-ride-contact-epic.raisely.com/t/jdrfnz