A Mastic Beach student is fighting diabetes with a special tool: his bicycle.
Timothy Klement, an eighth-grader at William Paca Middle School in the William Floyd school district, has raised a total of nearly $2,000 over the past three years by participating in Tour de Cure, a series of fundraising cycling events held nationwide to benefit the American Diabetes Association.
For each year's Tour de Cure, Klement has teamed up with his father and his aunt, and each person has biked 20 miles throughout the Riverhead area. He raised money by placing a donation box in his school's main office each spring and making announcements over the loudspeaker about the cause.
"The rides are fun, and it's great to be out in nice weather raising money for such an important cause," said Klement, 13, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was 3. "You can live a normal life if you control your blood sugar."
During the first year he participated in Tour de Cure, Klement stopped every five miles to give himself shots of insulin, he said. In subsequent years he made fewer stops by using a pump that holds up to 200 units of insulin.
Klement also is a member of the National Junior Honor Society and has played the trumpet for six years. He is on a swim team at Brookhaven Aquatic Center.