Never say never

When Becky Furuta was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, her doctor told her it was the end of her professional cycling career. But, having initially taken up cycling as a daily escape from childhood poverty, Becky wasn’t about to take the news lying down. A little more than a decade later, she’s an ambassador for Team Novo Nordisk – the world’s first all-diabetes pro-cycling team - and can reflect on a career at the pinnacle of professional bike racing.

Chris Moss

By Chris Moss |  Published 8 March 2019

Becky Furuta was on cloud nine. Not only did she have a healthy, happy two-year-old, but the promising pro-cyclist was now pregnant with her second child, and so far everything had gone smoothly. Although she was tired and hadn’t gained much weight, she put this down to the day-to-day stresses of life as a working mum.

But one afternoon, everything changed. Heading out for her regular training ride, she soon realised something was seriously wrong.

“I was feeling OK at the start, but by the middle of the ride I felt like I couldn’t move my legs – I was physically exhausted.” Becky recalls. “I went home, filled up a bottle of water, drank it, filled up a second bottle and drank that, and I was filling up the third bottle when I looked at my husband and said: ‘I’m pretty sure I have diabetes’.”

After being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 28, Becky’s promising cycling career seemed to be over. But she defied her doctor’s advice to make a return to the saddle, joining Team Novo Nordisk - the world’s first all-diabetes pro-cycling team – and their mission to inspire, empower and educate others affected by diabetes.

In a new podcast to mark International Women’s Day, Becky reflects on her life on and off the bike, and explains how determination and self-discipline help her strike the perfect balance between work, motherhood and managing type 1 diabetes.  

“Women often put themselves last, but sometimes putting yourself first can be the greatest gift to your family,” she says.

Listen to the podcast above to hear Becky’s remarkable story, and learn more about her work with Team Novo Nordisk on


Becky Furuta - Pro cyclist living with typw 1 diabetes
Becky Furuta - Pro cyclist living with typw 1 diabetes

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