Seattle’s Ray Wittmier and his friend Gene Woodard just completed a cross-country bike ride as a fundraiser for St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a childhood cancer research organization based in California. They rode in honor of Maya, a family friend who developed cancer at age 7. She is now 13. You can still donate to their fundraiser.
They made the trip in 49 days – an average of 70 miles a day – in “every kind of terrain,” from the Rockies to the Plains and beyond. Did we mention, Wittmier is 67 years old, and Woodard 68?
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They are thankful for good health throughout their ride; Wittmier jokes that they “never dipped into our Medicare benefits” along the way. Besides funding progress toward fighting childhood cancer, he hopes their ride also will inspire people their age to get up and get moving – whatever their challenges (within the past year, Wittmier had a knee replacement and Woodard had a hip replacement). He recalls that one day, Woodard complained mildly about a particularly hilly stretch – and a family member reminded them, “Think what Maya went through,” especially in her grueling early treatment … and they “never whined again.”