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Hometown: Rotorua, New Zealand
Age of diagnosis: 16
Position: Ambassador
"There is no substitute for hard work. Never give up. Never stop believing. Never stop fighting."

In his eighth year as a member of Team Novo Nordisk, former professional rider Aaron Perry has dedicated nearly a decade working as an ambassador for the diabetes community.


Perry, who spent two seasons racing for Team Novo Nordisk’s professional team, received his first bike at six years old and has been riding ever since. As a teen, he reached the elite level mountain biking in New Zealand and was only a few steps away from becoming a professional road cyclist when he was sidelined briefly by a diabetes diagnosis.


After experiencing visible symptoms for several weeks, Perry’s parents took him to the doctor, and Perry learned he had type 1 diabetes. At first, 16-year-old Perry believed life as he knew it was over, but after learning the condition could be managed and working closely with his health care team, he resumed an active teen life.


Initially Perry assumed his professional athletic career was over before it even started, yet he continued to race and even branched out into other sports. When he found out about Team Novo Nordisk’s predecessor, Team Type 1, where athletes with diabetes were racing at the top level, he concentrated his efforts on road racing. In 2012, Perry signed the professional cycling contract he had dreamed about since childhood with Team Novo Nordisk.


While Perry retired from professional cycling in 2015, he’s remained as part of Team Novo Nordisk ever since. He enjoys being a spokesperson for the diabetes community, where he has the opportunity to share and help others achieve their dreams. Perry has been instrumental in establishing JDRF in New Zealand.


Off the bike, Perry considers himself an outdoorsman and enjoys spending time with his family, surfing with friends, and being a spokesperson for the diabetes community.


Q&A

Message to people with diabetes: Do not let it stop you doing whatever you were doing before, and be sure to keep as active as you can.

Cycling dream: To compete to the highest level I can and maybe one day compete in the Tour de France.

Life dream: To be successful at whatever I turn my hand to and give everything 110%.