Why I Ride
The Courage Classic has always been a big part of my family. My dad is a founder that has ridden every year for the last 31 years! I rode with him for a few years on the back of a tandem bicycle when I was a teenager, and everyone in my family has participated in the Courage Classic several times.
The Courage Classic is an event unlike any other. The atmosphere is always so incredible and inspiring. So many people come together in the heart of the Rocky Mountains to share hope, inspiration, encouragement, and support for Children’s Hospital Colorado. It's not a race or about who finishes first! You ride your own pace and enjoy the incredible views and surroundings. And it's by no means easy! The 2-day, 100-mile route goes over some of the hardest passes of the mountains, all on a bicycle! But your struggle to climb Vail Pass or Battle Mountain, pales in comparison to some of the struggles these kids are going though everyday as patients at Children's Colorado. These kids fight diseases and their own bodies day in and day out, but they receive at outstanding care from all the nurses, doctors and specialists at Children's.
My dad rode in the inaugural ride in 1989 but three years later it became a more personal cause to support. At only a few days old, I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, which in infants, can lead to impaired brain development if not treated. My parents were referred to an endocrinologist at Children’s and I was seen there regularly for bloodwork and treatment for the first five years of my life. My parents noticed a profound difference in the experience at Children’s. The phlebotomists, nurses and doctors were all so adept at what they did as well reassuring and comforting to both the baby (me) and parents alike. Years later, my sister joined the amazing team of nurses at Children’s, working as an RN there for many years, and riding in the Courage Classic herself.
Children's Hospital Colorado specializes in care for children with a variety of conditions including neurological, digestive, respiratory, cardiac, cancer and many more. They are #6 in the nation for gastroenterology and GI Surgery, #7 in the nation for diabetes and endocrinology, and have the only 3D motion orthopedic center in the region. They have also completed 470+ successful heart transplants and have an 85% cure rate for kids' cancer and blood disorders. They are ranked in the top 10 of the best pediatric hospitals in the nation by U.S News and World Report. They also provide the best nursing care and boast Nursing Magnet Status which is a program that “recognizes healthcare organizations that provide the very best in nursing care and uphold the tradition within nursing that supports professional nursing practices.” (https://www.childrenscolorado.org).
I haven't ridden in several years, but I have been to a few tours recently cheering on my dad and sister as they rode! This year with the tour being virtual I decided to participate again! I have to put my new bike to use somehow! What better way than to support such a great cause! Donating to Children's Colorado helps fund the research and treatment of a multitude of children's disorders and provide exceptional care to patients not only throughout Colorado and Rocky Mountain Region but the rest of the United States as well!