LSI is honored to host this event and invite all to attend our 4th Annual Wheels of Justice Party June 22nd. While enjoying drinks and food you can hear more about the Wheels of Justice organization and how your donations support Children’s Hospital Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders.
This year’s Guest Speaker is Kimberly Arnold. Affectionately known to us as Maria von Trapp, she is a recipient of the Leukemia-Lymphoma Society Woman of the Year, CEO of her own company, and mother to Addie. Kim shares Addie’s story to raise awareness and inspires us all in overcoming the seemingly impossible. Addie is a 10-year old beautiful child who has overcome many medical issues including Down syndrome, acute leukemia, pulmonary hypertension, and Moya-moya (blood vessel problem in the brain associated with strokes requiring dangerous brain surgery). Kim is an amazing woman, who has taken care of Addie during all of these difficult times.
The below is from a 2017 blog on how CEO, Michael Lopez, became involved with the Wheels of Justice. While it’s been a year, we think the message holds strong for a lifetime.
It’s been over six years since 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 my company’s future passion for giving. 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. 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.
I definitely didn’t ride – didn’t even have a bike – but I had heard of the Wheels of Justice from past donations that LSI had made to the organization. Bernie 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. From my personal involvement with the Wheels of Justice, our company was driven to help other children like Nathan.