Cycling for a Cause

16
Mar
The two charity classes were held on Friday, February 9th, which is also the kickoff of “Heart” Week, a nationally recognized event to raise awareness for congenital heart defects. 

Theresa Christensen

Back in November of 2013, my brother Chuck and his wife Jill received the wonderful news that they were expecting another baby. This joyous news would turn to worry around the 20-week mark when they found out that the baby would be born with a congenital heart defect (CHD), transposition of the great arteries. This means that her aorta and pulmonary arteries were running parallel to each other rather than crisscrossing over the heart like they were supposed to, and that without medical intervention the baby would not be able to breathe on her own when she was born. Although the baby wasn’t due until August 4, 2014, the doctors determined that they would schedule an induction for July 29th so that the baby could be born into a controlled environment with a team of specialists present to carry out the best birth plan possible. This included a very invasive heart surgery just days after she was born to correct the CHD. They would cut and reattach her heart vessels.

My brother and his wife had their baby girl Eve Marie Dudley one day later on 7/30/14, and, just as scheduled, she underwent open heart surgery at just four-days-old, along with two blood transfusions Cohen’s Children’s Hospital. You can only imagine what a scary time this was for all involved.  The family stayed there for two and half weeks following the surgery.

Evie

Evie

Now our “Evie” is a three and a half-year-old firecracker who sings, dances, plays soccer, and keeps everyone on their toes. Every year since 2014, Chuck and Jill have spearheaded fundraising efforts to support The Children’s Heart Foundation. It is because of the research funded by places like the CHF that surgeries like Evie’s have been made possible. This year Jill told me about a Cycle fundraising event at one of the large “boutique” Cycling studios and asked if I would like to participate. It was all the way out in Roslyn, and when I researched it a bit more, I saw that the studio was taking more than HALF of the ticket price as profit with less than half going to the CHF. So I approached Cor and Jourdan Brown about possibly doing one right here in Babylon in Fitness Incentive’s Cycle room. They immediately said that 100% of the proceeds raised would go to the CHF. It was at this time that Fitness Incentive’s first Cycle Charity Ride was born.

Jourdan spearheaded the event and got six instructors on board to donate their time to teach the event. She had posters up within a week, and already the wheels were in motion. Members and non-members signed up, and each made a minimum donation of $25 to attend a 45-minute Cycle Class led by three talented instructors. The two classes were held on Friday, February 9th, which is also the kickoff of “Heart” Week, a nationally recognized event to raise awareness for congenital heart defects. Local businesses donated great prizes for a Chinese auction held at the front of the gym. The event was a great success!! I led the first class, along with Jourdan and Sharon Donnelly, and the second session was led by Sara Larocca, Liz Lenox, and Jamie Benedik. I can’t thank these women enough, and I am so grateful to all of the riders and participants of the event, the businesses who donated, and of course the wonderful staff at Fitness Incentive for making the Cycle Charity Ride for CHD a roaring success!

Together we raised $1,165! AMAZING!!!

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About the Author

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Theresa Christensen

Theresa Christensen is a certified Cycling Instructor at Fitness Incentive.

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