Five years ago, I said hello to a neighbor riding past my house on his bike. As he stopped to chat, I had no idea how deeply the conversation would impact me and shape my future passions. That neighbor was the director of my homeowner’s association, Bernie Gehris, and he asked if I rode or had ever heard of the Wheels of Justice.
I definitely didn’t ride – didn’t even have a bike – but I had heard of the Wheels of Justice from donations that LSI had made to the organization. Bernie had joined the Wheels of Justice a few years after his son Nathan passed away at the age of two. When I asked him to tell me more, he explained that the Wheels of Justice is the largest team to ride in the Courage Classic, a two-day bike tour benefiting Children’s Hospital Colorado. Many of the riders are from the Colorado legal community, as well as doctors, patients and their families. And all Wheels of Justice Funds go directly to the Children’s Hospital Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders.
A week after that conversation outside of my house, Bernie found me a bike online and we started riding together. Our first ride was from the Denver Tech Center to downtown Denver, 35 miles round trip and the hardest thing I had done in several years. After months of practice, I rode in my first Courage Classic in 2012. The cycling got easier for me, but as I listened to some of the children share their experiences at the event, I realized how very difficult their lives are. One girl, Jessa Salvador, talked about how she won her battle with cancer only to be diagnosed a second time. She said she was grateful for all the things that cancer had taught her but did not want to learn anymore. There was not a dry eye in the audience as she and the other children spoke about how they had become best friends with the doctors and nurses, but dreamt of getting better so they could go home, live normal, happy lives, and grow their hair back.
It was at that moment that I was inspired to do more than just donate signage and ride a few miles. By hosting an annual kickoff party, I would be able to build awareness for the Wheels of Justice cause and encourage others to participate, support or sponsor the tour.
I’ve since upgraded that bike I bought online and have logged over 5,500 miles over the past five years, including three Triple Bypass Tours and one Ride of The Rockies. Nathan Gehris passed away 24 years ago, but with his dad’s help, he has left behind more than $40K in donations to help other children win their battles with cancer.
From my personal involvement with the Wheels of Justice, our company was driven to help other children like Nathan. LSI is honored to be a part of this important cause and invite all to attend our upcoming Wheels of Justice Kickoff Party on February 23 at Nativ Hotel. While enjoying an open bar and heavy hors d’oeuvres, you can hear more about the Wheels of Justice organization and how your donations support Children’s Hospital Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders.
Kickoff Party for the Wheels of Justice team riding in the Courage Classic July 22-23rd
Thursday, February 23, 2017
5:00pm – 8:00pm
Attendees can make a small donation of their choosing
Open bar and heavy hors d’oeuvres provided by LSI
Speakers include: Michael Lopez, Aaron Bradford, Founding Captain of Wheels of Justice; Amber Dunlap, Wheels of Justice Cycling Team; and Daniel Hailpern, Cancer Survivor treated at Children’s Hospital Colorado