Riding to Overcome Alzheimers


On May 24, 12 fraternity brothers from Western Kentucky University will leave from Oceanside, CA on a coast-to-coast bike ride—Bike4Alz—to raise money for the BrightFocus Foundation’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research program.  Their goal: to raise $100,000 for research to help find a cure for Alzheimer’s.

Ten bike riders and two drivers, all members of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, will travel over 3,000 miles through nine states in less than two months, arriving at the National Mall in Washington on July 18.  Along the way, they hope to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease and its devastating effects, and inspire others to make a difference in their own communities in the fight to end Alzheimer’s.

“My grandfather lived with Alzheimer’s for almost four years,” said Tyler Jury, a Western Kentucky fraternity brother who organized a similar coast-to-coast trip in 2010.  “Watching his health decline and the toll it took on my family was tough.  I decided that I wanted to do something to help in the search for a cure to Alzheimer’s.”

“Even before the ride begins, we are already inspired by the dedication, optimism, and compassion these young men are sharing with others,” added BrightFocus President and CEO Stacy Pagos Haller.  “We will put the money they raise to good use, supporting cutting-edge research to help treat and prevent this life-shattering disease.”

Persons wanting to make a contribution on behalf of the Bike4Alz team can do so via the team’s website, www.bike4alz.org; by clicking on www.brightfocus.org/bike4alz; or by calling Alzheimer’s Disease Research at BrightFocus, toll-free at 1-855-345-6237.

The bike team’s website, www.bike4alz.org, also has information on Why We Ride, Meet the Riders, the day-to-day schedule, blogs by the bikers, sponsorships and other ways to show support, and contact information.  Each day the  cyclists dedicate their ride to a person with Alzheimer’s disease, or a care-giver for an Alzheimer’s patient.

“This cross-country bike ride is needed more than ever,” said Haller.  “At a time when Alzheimer’s disease threatens to overwhelm our health care system and our families, we must accelerate the search for a cure.”

Bike rider Drake Riley sees it as a win-win situation.  “I look forward to getting to see this beautiful country of ours while helping raise money to fight this horrible disease.”

The 12 students, all from Kentucky, are:

Seth Bland of Whitesville; driver Nate Blankenship and Drake Riley, both of Bowling Green; Parker Kuhn and Seth Haga, both of Lexington;  Ryne McMullen and Robert Lucas, both of Mount Washington; Taylor Ruby of Somerset; Luke Sparks of Crestwood; and driver Brent Stephens of Winchester; Drew Tingle of Franklin; and Wade Weatherholt of Cloverport.

A day-to-day itinerary of the riders’ locations is provided at www.bike4Alz.org.

The state-by-state itinerary is as follows:

California:  May 24 (Oceanside) to May 27 (Blythe).
Arizona:  May 27 (Bouse) to June 3 (Kayenta).
Utah:  June 3 to 4 (Bluff).
Colorado:  June 4 (Mancos) to June 12 (Eads).
Kansas:  June 12 (Leoti) to June 19 (Erie).
Missouri:  June 19 (Joplin) to June 25 (Sikeston).
Kentucky:  June 25 (Paducah) to July 8 (Morehead).
West Virginia:  July 8 (Huntington) to July 14 (Riverton).
Virginia:  July 14 (Harrisonburg) to July 18 (Leesburg).
Washington, DC:  July 18 — Arrival on the National Mall.  (Welcome activities to be announced.)


BrightFocus Foundation (www.brightfocus.org) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing brain and eye health, by funding research worldwide on macular degeneration, glaucoma, and Alzheimer’s disease. BrightFocus also provides the public with information about these diseases, including risk factors, current treatments, and coping strategies.

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.

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