Solo Cyclist to Trek 4,700 Miles in Honor of Father Who Died of Rare Disease
Cycling Across America to Raise Scleroderma Awareness and Research Funds
DANVERS, Mass., May 1, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Twenty-two-year-old Wade Dauberman will do everything he can to raise awareness of scleroderma, a rare disease that took the life of his father two years ago. Wade begins the bike ride of a lifetime on Sunday, May 6. He leaves the Florida Institute of Technology (FIT) the day after graduation and embarks on a 4,700-mile solo bike trek across the United States.
Wade’s father, James Dauberman, passed away in Sept. 2010 due to complications from scleroderma. The autoimmune disease attacks a person’s skin and internal organs, causing them to tighten and harden. The cause and cure of the disease remain unknown. In the case of Wade’s father, doctors didn’t know he had scleroderma until it was too late. He ended up on dialysis and required several surgeries. Then, he acquired an infection that his body and frail immune system couldn’t fight off and eventually took his life.
“If you look at my dad’s case, he wasn’t diagnosed properly,” said Wade. “I want to help others get a diagnosis faster and have a better chance. You can’t beat scleroderma entirely but you can break it down so it doesn’t affect your life as much.”
As a cycling instructor and personal trainer at FIT, Wade realized a bike trip was the perfect opportunity to raise awareness of scleroderma and help the Scleroderma Foundation, the nation’s leading support, education and research organization for people living with the disease. However, instead of planning a small hundred-mile journey, he organized a grueling trip that takes him across the country. He’ll see some great attractions such as Mount Rushmore, Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. and Yellowstone National Park. He also will encounter a few challenges. “The challenging part is the Rocky Mountains. It’s just brutal,” he said. “There are so many hills, and I’m carrying a lot of extra weight on my bike. I’ll have about 40 extra pounds of baggage with my tent, sleeping bag and bike tools. But really, the hardest part is going to be the mental and physical toll of riding alone.”
“We are honored to team up with Wade as he leaves on this remarkable journey to honor his father’s legacy. Not only that, his trip will raise much-needed awareness about scleroderma. This trip is a message of hope and a reminder to everyone with a connection to scleroderma that there are others battling to find a cure,” said Robert J. Riggs, chief executive officer of the Scleroderma Foundation.
Wade’s trip begins at 8 a.m. Sunday, May 6. He will leave from Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Fla., and will make his way up the east coast to his hometown in Pennsylvania. His family and friends will host a special fundraising event Sunday, May 27, at Turbotville Community Hall before he leaves on the second leg of his journey.
You can make a gift to Wade’s ride at www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/dauberman/cycling. All gifts benefit the Scleroderma Foundation’s research program. Wade also will journal from the road. Read more about his trip at http://bit.ly/wadebike.
Scleroderma is a chronic, often progressive, autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks its own body.
Scleroderma means “hard skin.” It can cause a thickening and tightening of the skin. In some cases, it causes serious damage to internal organs including the lungs, heart, kidneys, esophagus and gastrointestinal tract. As scarring, or sclerosis, of these organs and organ systems progress, they work less effectively, and can lead to organ failure and death.
Some medications and treatments can help with certain symptoms, but there is no cure for scleroderma. The disease affects about 300,000 people across the U.S. In comparison, the same number of people are affected by multiple sclerosis.
About the Scleroderma Foundation
The Scleroderma Foundation is the national organization for people with scleroderma, their families and friends. It was formed Jan. 1, 1998, by a merger between the United Scleroderma Foundation and the Scleroderma Federation.
Today, the Scleroderma Foundation is headquartered in Danvers, Mass. It is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to serving the interests of people living with scleroderma. The Foundation has a network of 23 chapters and 168 support groups committed to carrying out the three-fold mission of support, education and research. The Scleroderma Foundation makes available at least $1 million per year in new research grants to find the cause, better treatments, and a cure for scleroderma.
For more information about the Scleroderma Foundation, visit www.scleroderma.org or call (800) 722-HOPE (4673). You also can find the Foundation on Facebook (www.facebook.com/sclerodermaus) and Twitter (@scleroderma).
SOURCE Scleroderma Foundation