Wheels of love makes debut on the Eastern shore, brings awareness to disabled children
CAMBRIDGE, Md. – Cyclists from across the United States came to Maryland’s Eastern shore to help raise funds and awareness for children who are an ocean away.
“And as they say, you help one person, you help the world,” says Joanne Blye, a volunteer with American Friends of ALYN (AFALYN).
Those with AFALYN tell us, they’re dedicated to helping the only adolescent hospital in Israel. The hospital helps rehabilitate children in a country that otherwise may be unable to provide for them.
“AFALYN puts the child first making sure that the child can have as much quality of life as possible,” says Maayan Aviv, Executive Director for AFALYN.
AFALYN members say whether they live in Israel or not, they want to be able to provide the necessary funds. That’s why every year American cyclists travel to Israel to participate in a bike ride to raise money and awareness; sometimes the cash racks up to as much as $3 million.
“With medical innovations, we’re able to have children live who years ago would not have been able to live with serious injuries or health problems or disease,” says Blye.
This year, the cyclists were unable to head to Israel for this bike ride. However, through connections and miracles, the organization brought it to the Eastern shore so the momentum and enthusiasm for the cause wasn’t lost. “I started back in 2007 and coming back from Israel that year really affected me and made me realize what a special cause this is,” says a long time cyclist, Jeff Blye. He adds, ” To be able to do this with our friends here knowing that our fellow riders in Israel are riding on the same day, maybe with a time zone difference but still the same day, that’s really a wonderful thing.”
Another cyclist and board member, Harmon Grossman adds, “It’s a hospital for disabled kids and they’re all sitting there waiting for us to put medals around our necks and it’s been it’s very touching. So we’ll miss that but we’ll think of it while we’re riding.”
Cyclists tell 47 ABC, they’re pedaling for children who can’t, and it doesn’t matter if they’re your neighbors, or across the Atlantic Ocean, they want to help those who can’t help themselves. “At the end of the day, we get off the bike and get a massage, they keep on dealing with their challenges,” says Grossman. Joanne adds, we owe them the best quality of life possible.”
Officials also tell us, they hope this continues to grow each year so every one across the world can be involved. “I’m thankful for everyone who is here for the board members that are here for the staff and for all the riders that ‘shlept’ all the way here with their bikes and they’re ready to get on it and ride for these kids,” says Avie.
If you’re interested in helping out or participating in the cycling next year with American friends with ALYN, just head to their website.