September 1, 2014
On September 1, 2014, Kim & Jon Smith will begin a bicycle ride across the United States. They will be riding to raise awareness of childhood cancer and to raise money for childhood cancer research. They will begin in San Diego, CA and cycle 3,069 miles, finishing in St. Augustine, FL.
Kim & Jon’s story: Childhood cancer has had a devastating effect on our own lives. On December 3rd, 2003 our youngest daughter, Tyler Rebekah Byrd (15 years old) lost her battle with cancer. She was diagnosed with germ cell tumor, a very rare form of cancer for a girl. After exhausting every treatment that was available in the United State, we went to Europe, and still found that we could not save her. What we did learn through this process was the lack of funds available for childhood cancers. Did you know that in the U.S., more children die of childhood cancer than any other disease? This includes AIDS, asthma, cystic fibrosis, congenital anomalies and diabetes combined. And yet, all types of childhood cancer combined receive only four percent of the U.S. Federal funding for cancer research. This was really alarming to us. We also found out the pharmaceutical companies put close to nothing into developing drugs for childhood cancer because it is not profitable. We want more people to be aware of this huge gap and help to make the change.
Here’s our goal:
We would like to raise $10 per mile during this trip, resulting in $30,690 to help find the cure for childhood cancer. We are asking foundations, corporations, businesses large and small, and individuals for help in meeting this goal. Along the way, we will be educating people and asking for their support. The money we raise will go to support St. Baldrick’s Foundation. This organization funds lifesaving research throughout the world, awarding grants that focus on all major types of pediatric cancers. Every grant goes through a rigorous scientific review process, ensuring every dollar has the greatest possible impact for children with cancer. St. Baldrick’s typically raises money by having people throw head-shaving events. This is because kids with cancer often lose their hair during treatment, so “shavees” for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation show their support by shaving their heads voluntarily, and inspiring friends and family to donate money to support childhood cancer research. To show our support, we will begin our journey by shaving our heads!