Fourteen college students are traveling from the Pacific to the Atlantic, 12 of them on bicycles. Their mission is to share experiences and memories with communities across the country creating a sense of urgency for the Alzheimer’s cause to raise money for a cure.
“Alzheimer’s has been around since the 1900s and still no cure or treatment has been found,” said Alec Brown who is currently training for their upcoming ride in May. “I’m studying math and economics – I’m not smart enough to find a cure – but if I can figure out a way to raise money so smarter people than I can find a cure, I’m going to do everything I can!”
For 3,600 miles, across 10 states and 54 cities, these cyclists from Western Kentucky University will continue the legacy begun in 2010 by Tyler Jury in honor of his grandfather Barrett Cummings.
“Tyler wrote a bucket list on his 18th birthday, and ‘ride a bike across the country’ was on it,” said Alec. “He helped start our Fraternity, and he had a great vision for what we could do to address the needs associated with Alzheimer’s disease.” Tyler and several members of the Chi Eta Chapter of the Fraternity of Phi Gamma Delta made the first bike4alz journey in 2010, raising nearly $60,000 for research.
Even after his graduation, Tyler has inspired the Fraternity to continue his vision. Every even year, a group has ridden from coast to coast to raise awareness and concern for Alzheimer’s disease. 2016 will be their fourth endeavor. Although the people may change, their mission won’t. “Our goal is to continually reach more people and affect more lives with every mile,” said Alec.
This year, Alec and his 13 Fraternity brothers will ride from Seattle to Virginia Beach. Along the way, they’ve organized events and gatherings in the communities that they ride through.