This is a story that reminds you that there is real goodness in the world. It reminds you that lessons can be learned from our smallest people and that the power of true friendship can help you breakthrough barriers you never expected.
Maddie Shumaker was diagnosed with DIPG (an inoperable brain tumor) at 7 years old in January, 2015. Maddie's strength throughout the diagnosis and disease was nothing short of amazing. She was a well spoken little girl that loved all things art. She loved to paint, color and draw and the only time her parents saw her struggle with this disease was when she lost the ability to use her right hand. At 8 years old, in December 2015, Maddie passed away, leaving behind a grieving family that wanted to desperately help bring awareness to this rare form of childhood cancer as well as raise money for research.
Enter Morgan Shumaker: Maddie's Uncle. Morgan has always loved adventure and had a desire to bike across the country for many years .When Maddie passed he wanted to use that desire to help spread awareness of his niece's fight with DIPG. On June 1st, Morgan and three of his close friends began biking across the country to raise money for childhood cancer research. These guys, Joe Shaw, Aaron Polak and Mike Wilder have committed to a 70-75 day cross country bike ride to raise money and awareness for DIPG. They left jobs and families to help their friend spread the word about this important cause. They have biked through many states, stayed in a variety of places (many without running water), and have met more people and learned personal stories then they can count. Each day they wake up with a goal of how many miles to bike with the end goal being 16,000 miles!
Fusion's Employee Wellness Manager, Carrie Polak is the wife of biker Aaron Polak. She left our office on Friday to meet up with Team Maddie and spend the week biking with them. She has sent us tons of pictures of their adventure and says everyday ... "This is really hard". The number of miles everyday and the different weather conditions make this biking adventure a true testament to strength.
Below are some great pictures showing Team Maddie as they work their way across the country. If you would like to learn more about Team Maddie or make a donation, click HERE!
Follow Fusion’s Be The Change page to learn more.