BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) – Amy Bingham catches up with members of this year’s Bike4Alz team before they depart in this week’s View from the Hill.
While scientists work to unravel the complex brain changes involved in the progression of Alzheimer’s, a WKU fraternity continues to raise money and awareness about the horrible disease.
“When I went through recruitment I remember all the guys talking about it and immediately I knew this is something I want to do.”
WKU Senior Justin Geilear will be thinking of his 87 year old grandfather who suffers from alzheimers when taking part in Bike4Alz this summer.
“He’s been getting worse as time goes on of course but the one thing he always remembers is that I am biking across the country for Alzheimer’s.”
Justin is one of twelve riders and two drivers who are continuing a Fiji tradition that began in 2010.
More than half of them were prepared to ride last summer when the pandemic changed their plans.
“We realized that even if we could bike, people wouldn’t house us. It was a liability to everyone so we knew ultimately we had to postpone it.”
But the group is looking at it as a positive, not a negative.
“It’s a bit of a blessing to be able to train a littler longer.”
They say they’re excited and only a little nervous to hit the pavement.
“Being on the road you never know how people are gonna handle bikes but historically we’ve really had no trouble, no bad accidents or anything like that.”
Beginning next week, the trip will take them from California to Virginia with a goal of raising one hundred thousand dollars along the way. “We’ve got a pretty hard schedule we have to follow with events planned out here and there throughout the country but we usually lodge with a church or community center.”
With all the prep behind them, Geilear says the team is eager to put the miles in for the American Alzheimer’s Association.
“You’re simply biking and raising money for alzheimers and those are the only two things on your mind.”
“It’s been a long time coming, over two years. We’re ready. We’re prepared.”
f you would like to make a donation or dedicate a ride in someone’s honor, log onto Bike4Alz.org.
The team will have a local fundraising event when they pass through Bowling Green on July tenth.