It’s that time of year again. I come with my hand out – not for myself, but for Children’s Hospital Denver.
Annually, come July, my husband Mark participates in the Courage Classic, a fundraiser for the hospital. It is a bike ride like no other. Most heavy duty rides call for serious athletes: Lycra-clad riders who have trained for months to ride long distances and climb multiple mountain passes over successive days.
In contrast, the Courage Classic has some serious athletes who will take the longer options, but many of the riders are fair-weather cyclists who may ride to the post office on occasion, but who are more likely to drive the car. Most riders are cycling in the name of a family member who has been treated or is under treatment. The families are joined by supportive friends and neighbors whose lives have been touched by the young patients.
Some of the past and present patients participate in the ride. Noah had heart surgery as a newborn, but for the past seven years, he has handed out medals at the finish line. At two years, Eli was operated on for a brain tumor. Now he rides a tandem with his father Jacob. Some cyclists trailer the hospital’s therapy dogs.
Serving as a road marshal, I see the effort (blood, sweat, and tears) expended by these parents in gratitude to the hospital. It is a soulful experience. Looking at the participants and the photos of the children who didn’t survive, I always find myself saying, “There but for the Grace of God go I.”
The hospital holds a prom for those students who are in treatment and will miss their school’s prom. I find these patients, on the cusp of adulthood, so full of potential… so moving.
If you have the means to donate, the cause is most worthy. You can donate in Mark Dembosky’s name by going to http://www.childrenscoloradofoundation.org/courage-classic/
Thank you, Doris