With no children of his own and the desire to make a difference, Atlanta physician Richard Ellin reached out to Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Gwinnett County. In 1996, he became big brother to 7-year-old Aaron LaRue, who was being raised by his grandmother. While the average BBBS relationship is about five years, Richard and Aaron stayed close, even when the youngster moved to North Carolina.
“Richard is definitely part of my family,” said LaRue. “He was really a great influence. I always looked forward to a day we could do a bike ride together.”
Richard has done America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride with TNT several times, and was actually thinking about passing on the 2010 edition. But late last year Aaron, now a junior exercise physiology major at Wake Forest University and top high jumper on the Demon Deacons track team, told his big brother he wanted the two of them to do a cycling event together.
“When he said he wanted to join me on the ride I changed my plans,” Ellin said.
So while Richard is training with the Atlanta Team In Training cycling team, Aaron is putting his miles in with the Western North Carolina Team In Training chapter. “Demon Deacon and Doc” will take on the America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride at Lake Tahoe on June 6.
An avid cyclist for several years, Richard Ellin saw the opportunity to use his avocation to raise money to fight leukemia, lymphoma and other blood cancers. He joined Team In Training in 2004 and has ridden the America's Most Beautiful Bike Ride every year with the team since then. Check out team Demon Deacon and Doc's TNT web page here.