WHO AM I, AND WHY AM I DOING THIS?
My son Drake E Freed was born August 3rd, 2007 in Glens Falls, NY. Within minutes after his birth it was noticed that most of his little finger tips had what looked to be no skin on them. The doctor that helped deliver Drake E, who must have been part of thousands of deliveries, quickly noticed and said "I have never seen that before".
From that moment on, it was known that little Drake E was not going to be like most babies. Within 2 weeks, with the help of an amazing local Dermatologist (Dr. Stephen Verral), he was diagnosed with EB. A short time after that it was learned that the type of EB that Drake E had, Junctional Epidermolysis Bullosa was a pretty rare form of this horrible disorder, as well as one of the worst types as his life expectancy was a year or less.
After 13 months of many weeks and days in hospitals in different locations, seeing many amazing doctors and nurses of all different types, fighting off so many different types of infections, recieving as much love possible from his family, and after a extremely courageous fight to say the least, Drake E passed away on September 25th, 2008.
To say it in a simple way, riding my bike became my therapy time. My safe time to think about the hard questions of what could have been, and what should have been with Drake E, as well as a safe place for me to be ok with the anger. Just for that, I love riding almost more than anything in this world. It has given me so much and let me live life again. It is also something I have found that I am pretty good at, and am able to continually ride a high number of miles year round. All it took was someone to make fun of me for all the time I spent riding a bike, and tell me "Go ride your Huffy" a few times. I knew at that moment I could and would do great things to honor Drake E and my love of bike riding, which both have given me so much. "The Big Ride" is not about Drake E or I. It's about doing the right thing for a great cause!