Rock-climber with diabetes on a 365-day climbing challenge: With the right tools, gear and attitude, each mountain can be conquered

Published 7:00 pm Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A 1,200-foot mountain, a video camera and a blood glucose monitor. These three things may seem unrelated to most people, but for rock-climber Steve Richert, it is just another day at the office. Richert, a rock-climber and guide is on a year-long journey: facing extreme weather conditions, encountering wild animals and tackling the country’s most spectacular mountain ranges. Richert is climbing in locations across the country for 365 consecutive days all while managing a serious chronic disease, type 1 diabetes.

As a child, Richert had a passion for climbing, and since his diagnosis, he has not allowed his type 1 diabetes to stop him from doing the one thing he says he was born to do. To bring his message of hope and inspiration to others within the diabetes community, Richert created the non-profit organization LivingVertical to educate and inspire those with the disease. This year the organization launched Project 365 as a formal challenge for Steve to climb for 365 days and share his experience with others through his blog and the footage he is capturing along the way.

“Managing diabetes is a daily challenge that requires a lot of focus and discipline, however, it doesn’t have to control your life,” Richert said. “I want to inspire people with diabetes to feel empowered and confident about living with and managing their disease. With the right tools in place, you can continue to do the things you love most.”

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Diabetes currently affects 25.8 million children and adults in the United States; approximately 1 in 12 people. The disease requires individuals to monitor their diet, health and blood sugar regularly to help reduce the risk of diabetes-related complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, nerve damage and blindness.

“I rely on Roche’s ACCU-CHEK(R) Nano meter to ensure my insulin levels are under control before I start my climbs,” Richert said. “It is small, simple-to-use, and I’m confident with the accuracy of the readings it provides me. Also, the display screen’s visibility in the dark is a great feature because I’m often testing at night.”

The ACCU-CHEK Nano meter is available in pharmacies and retailers nationwide, as well as online anywhere ACCU-CHEK products are available. The ACCU-CHEK Nano meter offers enhanced features including its ease-of-use; its fast and accurate readings; and its small, portable size. Moreover, the meter offers patients the flexibility to test at any time – day or night – because of its brilliant backlit display.

Roche, the makers of ACCU-CHEK products, are supporting Richert on his mission and helping to spread his message. Visit to see how you can get involved, share your story and show your support by simply “liking” Steve’s video on the site. For every “like” received, Roche will donate $1.00 to LivingVertical, up to $15,000.