Dear friends, family, and colleagues,
It has been almost 9 years since I moved to Colorado and started working at Children's Hospital Colorado, where I serve children and families living with neurodiversity, such as intellectual and developmental disabilities. My time here has gone so fast, and I can't imagine working or living elsewhere. Living in Colorado and working at the hospital has not only furthered my love for working with children with developmental disabilities, but it has also grown my passion for the outdoor adventures afforded by this beautiful state, including fostering an interest in road biking.
When I first started working at Children's, I heard about the Courage Classic 150-mile bike ride through the mountains. I was immediately intrigued at how thousands of riders each year were able to accomplish this feat! I also thought, "who in their right mind would want to spend countless hours and days on an uncomfortable bicycle seat?!" While I felt a need to participate somehow, I just did not have the courage to ride the event. Instead, I volunteered to support the riders at one of the aid stations. A couple years later, after sustaining a back injury from riding, I took the plunge and signed up to RIDE the Courage Classic!
Riding the event this year became a personal goal to help me overcome my fear of injury and to prove to myself I could complete such a challenging course. But, it also became a professional goal to affirm my dedication to the hospital and, more importantly, to the countless families I serve in my work there.
The Courage Classic is in its 30th year! I've joined The Arc Thrift Classics team (previously Jelly Belly for Kids) that supports the Neuroscience Institute at Children's Hospital Colorado by raising money and awareness for children and families affected by neurodiversity, including those with neurologic or developmental disorders, like Autism Spectrum Disorder. As some of you know, Autism Spectrum Disorders and Developmental Disabilities are on the rise. In the US, 1 in every 59 individuals are living with Autism Spectrum Disorder. As the incidence continues to increase, it is imperative, now more than ever, for our local, national, and global communities to work together to foster supportive and welcoming communities for this population.
I hope that you will join me in helping to create a better world for those living with neurologic, intellectual, or developmental disabilities. I have set a personal goal of raising $500, and I'm asking you to please make a tax-deductible donation to support my efforts in riding 150 miles in 2 days to support research and innovative practices provided by the Neuroscience Institute at Children's Hospital Colorado.
Thank you in advance for your generosity and support as I tackle this personal and professional goal. I hope to make this an annual tradition.