Team Type 1 Foundation – We Are What’s Possible

03 June 2020

In 2005, the Team Type 1 Foundation started as a grass roots initiative to inspire those with diabetes to better manage their disease. Founded by Phil Southerland and Joe Eldridge, both type 1’s, they set out on a mission to merge their passion for cycling with their overall desire to raise awareness for the disease.


Although frustrating when someone says you can’t do something because you are physically challenged, often times this “can’t” spurs people who defy the odds and find a way to make it happen regardless. That was the case with Phil.

Diagnosed at 7 months old, Phil’s doctors predicted he probably would not live beyond the age of 25. Now in his 30’s he has already proven them wrong. Instead, he turned what was considered a death sentence into a global movement of change to people around the world.


TT1 established the first men’s professional cycling team to include athletes with type 1 diabetes, which was then built into a world-class cycling program and brought global awareness like never before.

Phil recruited a team of cyclists with diabetes, and together they participated in the demanding “Race Across America” in 2006. Not only did Team Type 1 gain prominence for its mission and perseverance with diabetes, but, four times the team won the event. Phil’s vision has come to life and he embraced it, with a passion for cycling while managing his diabetes to carry him through. 

In 2011, Phil along with Novo Nordisk took this team of now all type 1 diabetes cyclists and created Team Novo Nordisk. The first all diabetes professional cycling team.


Not wanting to give up on the momentum that the foundation had built, Phil along with his wife Biljana Southerland kept their focus on the mission of inspiring, educating and empowering people all over the world. They eventually started the Global Ambassador Scholarship program offering college scholarships to athletes with diabetes. In 2020 the foundation will give over 100 scholarships to deserving students across the US that want to show the world What’s Possible and use diabetes as a platform to inspire anyone living with the same condition. 


This year the foundation saw one of its biggest dreams come true with the donation of 2 million test strips to the country of Rwanda with the help of Abbott Diabetes marking a big landmark after years of hard work by Phil, BIljana and the foundation team.


In 2020, the foundation got a little facelift. With a new website and a new mission our dreams are big and bold.


Our mission is to show the world that with proper health, exercise and equal access to medicine, anyone with diabetes can achieve their dreams.

As the world’s largest diabetes and sports organization we strive to dispel the stigma that people with diabetes can’t. 



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