Max’s Big Ride is back for a third year.
Starting this weekend, six-year-old Max Sedmihradsky will ride with his dad, Andrew, on a 600-kilometre cargo bike ride from Hamilton to Ottawa.
For a third-straight summer, they will be riding to fund research that they hope will lead to a cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).
Andrew Sedmihradsky says that Max’s condition has been “holding stable,” stressing that the youngster plays soccer in the summer and goes to swimming lessons.
Barring a cure, however, Andrew adds that it’s “the best we can hope for at the moment”.
DMD is a progressive genetic disorder which gradually weakens muscles and affects 1 in 3,500 boys — the Duchenne muscular dystrophy gene is found on the X-chromosome. Victims are generally forced into a wheelchair by the age of 12 and their average life expectancy is about 25 years.
More than $100,000 has been raised through Max’s Big Ride the previous two years.
About $75,000 went to research through the registered charity, Jesse’s Journey, while the balance helped to offset the cost of a drug treatment that Max receives through Health Canada’s Special Access Program.
Max and Andrew will start their ride in Hamilton on Sunday, June 4 and finish on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, June 12. Andrew adds that it’s a symbolic finishing point since “we’ll need government help to get drugs approved” as they arrive on the market.
The first day is also the inaugural “ice cream ride.” On Sunday registrants will ride 25 kilometres between Hamilton and Burlington with Max, and be rewarded with ice cream, lunch and a finisher’s medal. Again, all proceeds will go to helping find a cure for Duchenne.
Donations can be made on the Max’s Big Ride website.