There are many things that made the Courage Classic special to me, but two things that stand out to me are the opportunity to honor the patients I have cared for over the previous year and the wonderful people you meet on a bike.
As you can imagine, through the course of a year I meet so many incredible children who have more bravery and tenacity than I could even imagine. There are many children who come in, working hard to breathe with a need for oxygen support. It may be only for one or two nights, but these patients are connected to a plethora of monitoring and support devices. They are in an unfamiliar place, with strangers coming in to assess them and perform interventions. With all of these things it is always impressive to see a toddler tolerate whatever task a nurse requires and then be able to give a smile. I'll never forget the patient who demanded a fist bump after every dressing change no matter how uncomfortable the procedure was. There are so many example of courage when you walk the halls of the pediatric ICU and those are what motivate me to ride during an event that honors those brave faces.
If there is not enough inspiration at the bedside, when I started riding in Courage Classic fiveyears ago I was blown away by the previous patients and patient families who participate. To see a patient who spent weeks in the hospital fight for recovery and be able to ride during this event is incredible. There are also so many family members who have battled or are battling awful illnesses and disease that show up to honor that loved one. To ride through beautiful mountain passes along side these amazing people is an experience like nothing else and fills my tank not only to get up Vail pass, but to keep doing the job I do every day.
To continue to do the job I do in a state of the art hospital that provides incredible support to patients and their families we depend on your support. Donations large and small make a difference and I truly appreciate anything you can give.