After overcoming incredible odds and raising more than $120,000 in the
prestigious Race Across America the past two years, Team 2CureHD is
SAN DIEGO, June 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On Wednesday, June 11, 2008, Renato Shaffer will begin riding his bike for the third time in as many years with one goal in mind -- to end Huntington's Disease, the fatal brain disease that affects his wife and threatens his two daughters.
Shaffer and HDSA-San Diego's Team 2CureHD will toe the starting line in Oceanside, California, in the 2008 Race Across the West (RAAW), the first 1,000 miles of the 27th annual Race Across America (RAAM), a non-stop, 3,000 mile bike race. He will be joined by returning riders John Sylvester and Jason Tate, and new teammate Joe Beeson. Team 2CureHD is once again embarking on the challenge of not only competing in RAAW, but also committing themselves to raising money and nationwide awareness in the battle to cure Huntington's Disease.
Huntington's Disease (HD) is a fatal, degenerative brain disorder for which there is no effective treatment or cure. HD slowly diminishes the affected individual's ability to walk, think, talk and reason. More Americans are afflicted with HD than with Lou Gehrig's Disease (ALS). The Huntington's Disease Society of America (HDSA) is dedicated to finding a cure for HD while providing both vital services and support to improve the lives of those affected by HD.
Team 2CureHD formed almost five years ago with the intent of racing in the prestigious RAAM in order to add to HDSA-San Diego's impressive ensemble of endeavors to raise both funds and awareness. Last year, with the backing of Valero Refining Co., Elan Pharmaceuticals, Structural Inspections, Vista Del Coronado, Black Mountain Cycles, Sun Country Builders, Vitamin Water, and countless generous individual contributions, Team 2CureHD completed the grueling race in just over eight days. Even more compelling, they liaised with numerous media outlets along the 14-state route to spread the word and increase awareness about HD, its victims and the communal fight to end its onslaught once and for all.
A true grassroots effort, Team 2CureHD started their quest as something of a maverick in RAAM, a sporting event typically characterized by high-dollar sponsorships and raced only for the benefit of personal satisfaction. Sponsored primarily out-of-pocket while striving to compete on behalf of HDSA, Team 2CureHD not only surmounted the immense challenges faced by a rookie team -- much less one made of "average Joes" -- but also succeeded in finishing the race and raising over $120,000 to support HD research. This year, they hope to double that amount while they continue to raise national awareness of this dreadful disease.
"Last year's efforts and success were personally inspirational," said Shaffer. "We exceeded our expectations by an order of magnitude, and the generosity of our fellow citizens was eye-watering. Still, this battle is far from over, and as long as my daughters live with the risk of developing HD, I will continue fighting. The time, effort, discomfort and sweat-equity are more than worthwhile."
The Huntington's Disease Society of America's (HDSA) mission is to promote and support research to find a cure for HD and to help families and communities of the more than 200,000 people at risk for this little known disease, and their families. For more information, go to http://www.hdsa.org
|SOURCE Huntington's Disease Society of America|
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