Riding with Purpose: A Journey of Outreach and Charity
My journey towards charity started at 3 and a half years old when my pediatrician referred me to Nationwide Children’s Hospital. My parents expressed concern about seeing my prolonged staring spells, and after some visual tests and an EEG, I was soon diagnosed with seizures. My neurologist immediately prescribed me medications to stop the seizures. With the tireless efforts of my doctors, tests, and medication adjustments, my seizures were subdued. Two years later, the doctors decided to take me off my medication to see if I had outgrown the seizures, but who are we kidding? I had to live with them.
From struggling in school to giving up on my dreams, I started dreading my medical condition as a youngster. I was upset and afraid to lose my dream of becoming a professional motorcycle racer. After seven years of seizures and being on strict medication, I was finally declared seizure-free. It came as a relief, and excitement took over me. I could then focus more on school and racing, which I always loved. So, without wasting any time, I started my journey toward pursuing my far-fetched dream, which is still in process. In my first seizure-free year, I made the Honor Roll at school and was placed 1st and 2nd in two state MiniGP Championships.
My first achievement made me realize how blessed I am for gaining my health back. This made me decide I wanted to give back to the community and help other kids in situations like the one I was in once. My vision became clear to me, and I knew I needed to align my dream and my will, so the first event I participated in was the Run for 3.21. This event benefited the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS). In this event, rather than running, I rode and pledged to ride 32.1 miles.
I managed to complete 94.78 miles, which was a huge success not only for me but also for the NDSS. After that, wanting to support the Nationwide Children’s Hospital (NCH), which had once supported me, I organized and sponsored the first annual “Ride Aloha” charity race, a two-day weekend event. With the support and help from my family, friends, and fellow racers, “Ride Aloha” raised $4,120.
I have always been excited to make the charity race an annual event, and I hope to see it grow yearly. Just like me, there are many kids out there who dream big, but health conditions and other similar circumstances can easily shatter their dreams. I aim to help every kid around me to overcome their health challenges and be able to bring their dreams to life.