For years, Tim Hindmarsh, MD, of Sweet Home Family Medicine has jumped from an airplane, water-skied barefoot and pushed his physical limits—all to raise money for and awareness of diabetes.
In what he has dubbed the "Act Alive Decathlon," Dr. Hindmarsh races around Oregon as he attempts to complete 10 action sports in 24 hours or less. The decathlon is designed to highlight the best way to avoid type 2 diabetes: exercise. It has also raised almost $25,000 for diabetes education.
Skydiving, windsurfing, slalom water-skiing, barefoot water-skiing, wakeboarding, snowboarding, downhill skiing, running, cycling and motocross make up the full slate of Act Alive events.
"I want people to come out and join me each year," says Dr. Hindmarsh. "The goal is simply to get out in the beautiful summer weather and make a statement about exercise and diabetes."
Act Alive participants can participate in cycling and running the full distance with Dr. Hindmarsh or simply walking one mile during the final leg of the decathlon. Participants raise money by obtaining pledges, with all proceeds going to the Diabetes Education fund at the Lebanon Community Hospital Foundation, which provides diabetes education scholarships to low-income east Linn residents.
"Every penny that we raise through Act Alive will go to the Diabetes Education fund," Dr. Hindmarsh said. "We have a huge percentage of people in our community who need diabetes education, and I'm very serious about helping them."
Oregon Health & Science University in Portland honored Dr. Hindmarsh with the "2006 Outstanding Contribution to Rural Health Award" for his efforts with Act Alive.