- Posted March 16, 2013 by
Nyack, New York
Ironman from NY to Ride Bicycle 900 Miles to Raise $ for Child in Need
- Jareen, CNN iReport producer
On June 26 my husband, 8 time Ironman Dave Nazaroff, will head out of Nyack, NY on a solo bicycle journey to the suburbs of Atlanta, GA. The ride is over 900 miles long and he intends to log nearly 200 miles a day for 5-6 days to deliver a check to the family of a very special 2 year-old boy he has never met named Tripp. We have named this the Toga Multisport Club "Ride to Give," and here is the story:
Thirteen weeks ago a friend forwarded me the link to a blog kept by the mother of a boy in Atlanta named Tripp Halstead. Tripp was critically injured October 29 while playing outside at daycare. His skull was shattered by a large heavy falling tree branch and he sustained a traumatic brain injury. Over the past 5 months he has been in and out of surgery (13 times), battled bacteria, flu, meningitis and gall stones. But even though he spent 5 months in the hospital, he is a fighter. He keeps battling back. And his parents Stacy and Bill are amazing.
I was so moved by Stacy's blog. It was done as Facebook postings every night and every day. She spoke so openly about Tripp's condition, her emotions, and her need for prayers and well wishes...she asked for nothing more. There was humor, memories of Tripp before, and hope for what's to come. Her blog now has over 650,000 followers getting daily updates on his condition. Tripp is their only child.
When I looked at Tripp's picture I could not believe his resemblance to our 2 year old son George. Same age...blond hair, blue eyes, joyful grin. I couldn't shake the thought, "What if this was George? What if this happened to us?" They are an active, fun family just like we are. I found myself checking my phone many times a day to see how Tripp was doing. There have been so many gains and set backs. But he is young and resilient and there is hope for him to recover. But they are not sure how much. Since the accident he has been unable to walk, talk, eat solid food, or smile.
I felt compelled to help in some way. I thought of a ride Dave took with firefighters after 9/11 and felt the lightbulb go off. If Dave could do 8 Ironman competitions in 4 years, why not ride from NY to Atlanta? I asked...and he was all for it. The Toga Multisport Ride to Give was born.
Our goal is to raise money so Tripp's mom Stacy can continue to stay by his side constantly during his long recovery.
We created a Facebook page and already have 15,000 "likes" and have raised nearly $94,000 in 12 weeks of fundraising. There you can buy a Team Boom/Ride to Give T-shirt and follow our progress of the Ride to Give when we take off for Georgia on the 26th.
But this story has become about so much more than one family's struggle. It's about something that has the power to unite more than half a million people, to pray, hope and GIVE. If this isn't an example of the POSITIVE power of Social Media and strangers helping strangers...I don't know what is.