Thursday, June 10, 2010

Four Men, Four Bikes, One Cause!

This Saturday, four local men will start riding across the country—on two wheels! With a goal of cycling from Oceanside, California to Annapolis, Maryland in less than a week, the dedicated men are participating in Race Across America (RAAM). Beginning June 12, Dave Armento, Frank Fuerst, Tony Myers and Jerome Rossetti, will ride through 16 states, rotating shifts 24 hours a day.
This is the second year the men have participated in this event. In 2009, they crossed the finish line in seven days, eight hours, six minutes, first in the four-man 50-59 age group, and fifth among all four man teams.
Known as the Georgia Chain Gang, the team is using the event to raise money for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The men are supported by a team of ten crew members, including two time Non Hodgkin’s lymphoma survivor Warren Bruno, owner of Atkins Park Restaurant in the Virginia Highlands area of Atlanta. The team’s fundraising goal is $160,000 but they have already raised more than $90,000 even before the race has started!! Having Warren on their team and others in their hearts, serves as an incredible inspiration to continue to fundraise even harder.
Cyclist Dave Armento lost a sister, uncle and father-in-law to leukemia. "I am looking forward to the ride itself again but I am also looking forward to making a difference," he says. "Research has come a long way in treating blood cancers—there are now 85% success rates---so hopefully we can help raise awareness and success rates even higher."
The four men are all avid endurance athletes—having completed marathons, Ironman triathlons and long-distance cycling events. To prepare for this race, the men have trained inside about 7-10 hours per week and have completed multiple 60-100-mile rides outside averaging at least 300-400 miles week.
"We wish these committed and dedicated men the best of luck on their race," says Dick Brown, executive director of the Georgia Chapter of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. "But most of all, on behalf of the 900,000 Americans now living with a blood cancer, we thank them. They are making a tremendous difference in the lives of so many people—one every four minutes—that are diagnosed with leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma."

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