Why I ride
As many of you know, I am one of the captains of a charity cycling team that rides the Courage Classic to benefit Children’s Hospital Colorado. I do this every year, but it is the ONE thing for which I fundraise. I am definitely not a natural at fundraising and find it very awkward and uncomfortable. However, for this cause, I do it anyway because I believe it to be that important. Nothing I have experienced in my life has been as awful and gut-wrenching as having a child in the hospital. My son Owen had a fairly minor abdominal surgery and it put me through the wringer. I can’t imagine what the parents who have kids with cancer, serious heart conditions, or countless other life threatening conditions must go through. Having a resource like Children’s Hospital Colorado is such a comfort and source of hope to these families when life deals them its cruelest blows.
Some of you might wonder why donating to a hospital is even necessary, given government and insurance payments and patient billings. The thing is, these payments in the delivery of healthcare only cover a part of the patient experience. While these payments do cover a fair portion of the critical, lifesaving interventions, it offers little more than the mechanical delivery of care, like a patient rolling down the assembly line. In 2013, Children’s Hospital served 198,564 from across a10-12 state region. Donations to Children’s Hospital Colorado help ensure that the hospital has the resources to provide life-saving treatments to children regardless of a family’s ability to pay. Moreover, care in a children’s hospital demands so much more to ensure that a child’s needs are met. Anyone who has visited this beautiful, bright, colorful facility knows this. When Owen had his abdominal surgery at just four years-old, we had to do an inpatient night in the hospital. The spacious patient rooms allow the parents to comfortable stay will their child overnight and each floor has great activity rooms. When Owen woke from anesthesia, he was still groggy for hours, but he was so uncomfortable that wanted to walk around. He pathetically shuffled down the hall towing an I.V. stand twice his height. When he saw the game room, his jaw hit the floor. He said, “Dad! It’s like Chucky Cheese!!” Of course, it was much cleaner and the food was better, but it kept him happy for hours. The doctors, nurse and staff are wonderful. In addition to being gifted in medicine, they are extraordinarily compassionate. When Owen had to have a colonoscopy, an anesthesiologist that Owen knew and liked came in on his day off at Owen’s request so that he wouldn’t get scared when they started the anesthesia. We were so grateful.
The Courage Classic bicycle tour to support the hospital is just as remarkable. Over 2,500 riders complete the 90-150 mile route. The teams are comprised of doctors, nurses, staff and friends of the hospital. They include teams riding for specific medical causes, for past and current patients, or in the memory of a child who lost his or her battle but who receive the best care possible in their fight. Each year, a special team named Team Courage, made of patients and former patients, rides despite the diseases or disabilities its members battle and receive a standing ovation at their group finish on the second day. I’ve seen kids on Team Courage complete the entire route on a bike with nothing more than a hand crank. This ride and cycling and other athletics in general give these folks such a heartwarming sense of accomplishment and means to reaching a relatively normal, healthy life. It really is inspiring.
I ask of you is to consider making a donation, no matter how small, to Children’s Hospital Colorado to support my ride.