HOMETOWN HERO: Bike4Alz

By: Kristin Martin
By: Kristin Martin

"Reminding yourself who you're doing it for and the stories you've heard of people affected by Alzheimer's, and especially for me, just looking down, thinking about my grandfather, that's enough motivation to never stop pedaling," Jury said.
 

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -- One group of fraternity brothers took "summer trip" to a whole new level.

They biked across the country -- all in support of those suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

"None of us had really biked before, so we bought our bikes for this trip," said Seth Haga, who was one of the bikers this year.

They went from not owning bikes to biking from California to Washington D.C.

"We went through the desert. It was hot. We were tired. We were new to biking. We were getting whipped into shape pretty good, because none of us trained the way we should have," Haga said.

The 12 Phi Gamma Delta fraternity brothers were pedaling not only to complete an extreme ride, but to raise $100,000 for Alzheimer's disease research.

"My grandfather was affected by Alzheimer's. He suffered from it for five years before passing away in 2009. I started this event in his memory -- to honor him -- and what an inspiration he was to me," said Tyler Jury, the Bike4Alz founder.

That first year, six riders raised $56,000.

The second Bike4Alz event raised $65,000.

However, it's about more than raising money.

At fundraising events along the way, riders meet people facing the disease.

"I've met with people and talked with people just hearing how terrible of a disease Alzheimer's is," Haga said.

Jury said he saw the disease change his grandfather's character and knows the struggles first hand.

"We want people to know how big of a deal it is -- how much it affects people, how much it hurts people -- and just be raising money for the awareness," Haga said.

The group went on the journey knowing they were fighting a disease while fighting many physical challenges of their own -- not giving up when it got difficult.

"Reminding yourself who you're doing it for and the stories you've heard of people affected by Alzheimer's, and especially for me, just looking down, thinking about my grandfather, that's enough motivation to never stop pedaling," Jury said.

For using their summer break to help those suffering from Alzheimer's diseases, we honor the Bike4Alz group as this week's Hometown Hero.

This third ride ended when they arrived back in Bowling Green last month after beginning in May.


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