Why We Ride
Bike4Alz has three main goals:
1. To raise awareness for Alzheimer’s disease and its effects.
2. Inspire others to make a difference in their community.
3. To raise $175,000 for the Alzheimer’s Association.
In 2010, 6 fraternity brothers biked from California to Virginia and raised $56,000 for Alzheimer’s. The ride, known as Fijis Across America, started when Western Kentucky University sophomore, Tyler Jury, was inspired by the loss of his grandfather to help seek an end this disease. Here is some of Tyler’s story:
“Fijis Across America came from my desires to bike cross-country and to help in the fight against Alzheimer’s. My grandfather lived with Alzheimer’s for almost 4 years. 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.
It has always been a goal of mine to achieve what most people consider unattainable; like thru- hiking the Appalachian Trail, staying on a rodeo bull for 8 seconds, or climbing Mount Everest. On July 9, 2008 (my 18th birthday) I sat down and made out a list of “50 things I want to do before I die”, and it just so happened that cycling across America was #7 on this list. The following text has been written to tell you about how one of my biggest dreams has turned into a reality, and how this reality has the potential to make a difference nationwide in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease.
In the spring of 2005 my grandfather, Barrett Cummings, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. My grandfather served as a pilot in the Air Force and spent most of his career as a firefighter. He owned his own construction business and built my family’s first house, was a deacon in his local church, and served his Masonic Lodge as Grand Master. However, over the next 4 years I was forced to watch my grandfather slowly become a different man. At the time of his death it was tough to remember all of the great accomplishments of his life. Alzheimer’s disease had completely changed who he was.
Seeing the impact Alzheimer’s disease had on my grandfather inspired me to do something to honor his life and to raise money to fund research for this disease. That is how Fijis Across America came about.”
From Fijis Across America came Bike4Alz. The riders wanted to do the ride again, bigger and better. The riders ride to inspire people to push for a cure to end this terrible disease. With your help, we can end Alz!