Earlier this month, I joined more than 600 cyclists who pedaled through the streets and parks of Philadelphia for the second annual Million Dollar Bike Ride. So far, the event raised more than $1 million to support research into rare disorders at the University of Pennsylvania. It was my privilege to ride with RASoapathies Network Riders on behalf of Morgan, a beautiful four-year-old living with Noonan Syndrome.
The event made an impact beyond the impressive funding of urgently needed research. The experience gave a sense of empowerment to the parents, friends, families, caregivers, patients, researchers, volunteers and donors.
Together, we can fight these serious diseases. We can overcome challenges, from a dropped chain to faulty brakes. We can learn more and do more, taking inspiration from a cyclist who rode 33 miles despite living with a rare disease that leaves her with half a lung.
Throughout the day, riders in the front helped others navigate safely through the intersections by calling out, “all clear” and “rolling!” It reminds me of the powerful support that families and rare disease communities provide to each other, whether the road is bumpy or smooth.
If you are inspired to give to this worthy cause, there’s still time to visit the Million Dollar Bike Ride website. SmithSolve will match donations through June 15.