This is one of my favorite photos. It reminds me sometimes a photo never tells the whole story.
Taken during the 2016 Ride4Gabe — Maine-to-Mobile, this photo captures just how awesome Gabe Griffin is. Yet, besides the celebratory thumbs up and beautiful blue skies, there is a very ugly reality that the lens cannot capture.
Yes, Gabe has cute red hair, freckles, and he can make anyone laugh with his quick wit.
But none of that matters when he struggles to stand without assistance from a seated position.
Sadly, Duchenne is taking a terrible toll on Gabe’s muscles. His condition is progressing rapidly. And there is no treatment available today that will stop DMD.
The Hope for Gabe Foundation is dedicated to raising awareness and money to fund research for a cure. The Hope for Gabe Foundation does not pay for medical bills.
Despite the adventure, and trying to cram in as many joyous moments as possible, don't let the smiles fool you. Gabe’s family suffers because of his condition. It isn’t ‘fun’ to be out on the road trying to raise awareness and money because your son is dying.
When an Athlete Adopts a Higher Calling
As a well-known ultra-endurance athlete, it would have been easy for Brian Toone to just raise the money needed to race his bicycle across the country. He chose instead to adopt a higher calling.
Everyone who participates in Race Across America knows Toone the same way that our Alabama cycling community knows him; Brian is one of the nicest guys around.
When he learned about Duchenne, Gabe, and the Hope for Gabe Foundation through previous Ride4Gabe efforts, he felt a calling to do this, "... for Gabe."
Brian is a very gifted athlete. In less than ten days he has the capacity to find himself on the podium in Annapolis. It takes a crew of over a dozen talented professionals (all volunteers for the cause) to race non-stop 3,070 miles. In order to support Brian, it's our job to make sure everything runs smoothly.
Gabe’s lifelong mission is to gain access to a treatment. Brian, God bless him, selflessly adopted the extraordinary burden of trying to help Gabe spread this message of hope nationwide. So just like Gabe's parents have done for years, Brian is sacrificing a lot. And we can hardly thank him enough.
Whether it's their sacrifices, struggles, or pressure by the whole team to get everyone back home safely, we certainly need your help. We need help from supporters to both encourage Brian and share the Hope for Gabe Foundation’s message.
Please join us by liking, sharing, commenting, tracking, praying, texting and donating to cheer us through the 3000-plus miles of #RAAM2017.
Feel free to visit www.ride4gabe.com to donate!