The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is holding its 3rd annual Cycle for Life bike tour on Oct. 14 at the Mann Center in Philadelphia. The event is held to fundraise for cystic fibrosis.
Cystic fibrosis (CF) is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States. This disease clogs the lungs, which makes breathing difficult, and obstructs the pancreas, so the body cannot break down and absorb food efficiently. In the past, children with CF would not live to attend elementary school, but today, because of medical research and therapy treatments funded by the foundation, many people who have CF live well into their thirties, fourties, and beyond.
This Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, which is a non-profit donor-supported organization, is the world’s leader in the search for a cure for cystic fibrosis. They fund more CF research than any other organization. They are dedicated to attacking cystic fibrosis from every angle. Their focus is to support the development of new drugs to fight the disease, improve the quality of life for those with CF, and ultimately to find a cure.
Cycle for Life is a 35 or 65-mile bike tour that travels throughout the Delaware Valley. The tour begins at Fairmount Park and takes cyclists through historic areas such as East Falls, Mount Airy, and Fort Washington, then returning to the city along the banks of the Schuylkill River and passing along the infamous Boat House Row.
“This is the only charity ride that will both start and finish within the city of Philadelphia. The start/finish site is the same location, The Mann Center. We created a ride that travels through the most scenic terrain that the Delaware Valley region has to offer and does so in a time frame that centers on the needs of the cyclist,” explained Jason Brinn, an events manager for the foundation who planned the event.
Each cyclist must raise a minimum of $185. They have a payment timeline so they can stay on track with fundraising. Cyclists must raise $25 from April to June, another $35 from July to September, and an additional $45 which will be due the day of the bike tour. However, if a cyclist has additional fees due, they have one month after the event to raise the remaining funds. Additionally, each cyclist submits a fundraising goal when they register so they have an idea of how much they will need to fundraise.
So far, the foundation has received large amounts of donations which were raised by the registered cyclists. The top fundraiser, Amy Cummins, a member of team Cummins Cruisers, has already raised $2,704, and Maria Limberis, a member of Team CF, is in second place with $2,033.
“The goal is to raise $100,000 and awareness for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Funds raised will go towards vital CF research medical and education programs,” said Brinn.
Last year, the foundation raised almost $60,000 through the event. Brinn is hoping for almost double. He may reach his goal considering there are already 120 registered cyclists.
The foundation is also supplying cyclists with prizes based on how much they have raised for CF. The minimum amount raised will give cyclists a Cycle for Life T-shirt. Some of the other prizes include under armor cycling apparel, cycling gloves, DVD players, mileage trackers, and bike computers. All prizes are intended to motivate registered cyclists to raise as much as they are able to for CF.
The foundation has many fundraising events throughout the year, all of which are created to raise money to find a cure for cystic fibrosis. Right now, there is no cure for CF, but the foundation has been able to donate enough money to further medical research and create new types of therapies for people with CF. Hopefully with their efforts, along with the many donors, there will soon be a cure for cystic fibrosis.
Liz Thompson is a fourth-year student majoring in communication studies with at minor in journalism. She can be reached at LT715984@wcupa.edu.