Team Novo Nordisk Honors Girl with Diabetes as “Pro Cyclist for A Day”

06 September 2018

Team Novo Nordisk honored Thea Guldager at the start of Stage 2 of the PostNord Danmark Rundt as “Pro Cyclist for a Day”

Team Novo Nordisk, the world’s first all-diabetes professional cycling team, surprised 13-year-old Thea Guldager at the start of Stage 2 of the PostNord Danmark Rundt by honoring her as “Pro Cyclist for a Day” as a thank you for support.​

“Events like this are truly the reason why this team exists, and I feel privileged to see how our project changes the world, one person at a time,” Team Novo Nordisk CEO and Co-Founder Phil Southerland said. “It is particularly special to see a child start to believe again in their own potential following their diabetes diagnosis. Seeing the impression the team leaves– both on the child and their parents– motivates us to keep spreading our mission to inspire, educate and empower everyone affected by diabetes.”

Thea– who was diagnosed with diabetes at age four– met Team Novo Nordisk at the PostNord Danmark Rundt back in 2014 and has closely followed the team since. After receiving a thoughtful message from Thea’s sister back in May, Team Novo Nordisk helped Thea ring in her 13th birthday with a special video message to encourage her to keep chasing her dreams while living with type 1 diabetes.

Every year Thea’s parents and sister Emma travel to cheer on the team during the race. Additionally, Thea runs a fan profile on Instagram dedicated to the team. In its first “Pro Cyclist for a Day”, Team Novo Nordisk wanted to say thank you to Thea for her years of dedication.

“Today was such a special surprise and I’m so happy. This whole team gives me so much inspiration to keep chasing my dreams,” said Thea.

As Pro Cyclist for a Day, Guldager received a team kit, gloves, socks, hat, feed bag, rider cards and autographed team photo.

Team Novo Nordisk encourages everyone to connect with the team via social media to be considered for a future “Pro Cyclist for a Day.”

Thea’s mother Lotte:

“For Thea, Team Novo Nordisk is family; it is her family with diabetes. The impact you’ve had on her and our whole family is fantastic. This relationship between the riders and Thea combined with the fact that they all have diabetes means so much to her. It lets her know that she isn’t alone and everything is possible. These riders are so successful and the fact they took the time to share this moment with her right before the start of such a big stage is absolutely incredible.”

Fabio Calabria

“I was diagnosed with diabetes when I was 13—the same age Thea is today–and if I could have had role models like this team to look up to, it would have made things so much easier. I was fortunate that I had an excellent doctor, but I felt like I was dealing with uncharted territories at the time. Getting to see other people living and competing with diabetes so successfully would have given me a lot of encouragement in those early days.”


(Photos: ©Getty Images)

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