It’s the time of year when people around the Health Center start talking about their summer plans — whether it will be a special research project, an anticipated vacation with the family or a combination thereof.
For four of our School of Medicine students, the plans are quite clear. They will be riding at least 80 miles per day, rain or shine, as they pedal across the country to raise funds for the Lea’s Foundation for Leukemia Research.
Their journey is ambitious and awe-inspiring on many levels. For Loreen Fournier, Arturo Montano, Alex Ocampo and Stacy White, Jr., this summer is actually their last “free” time while attending medical school. All four are just completing their first year. And while they are all athletic and blessed with youth, none of them have ever done a bike trip of this magnitude.
The 2010 riders have set a goal of raising $50,000 for the Lea’s Foundation. It is important to note that the Lea’s Foundation has a special connection to the Health Center. Through the years, the Foundation has generously supported researchers, clinicians and programs at the Health Center, including the work of Dr. Pramod Srivastava and the establishment of the Lea’s Foundation Center for Hematologic Disorders, which is now part of our Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Because of this close connection, I urge all of you to join me in supporting this year’s ride. Look for more information throughout the Health Center in the weeks ahead about how you can give.
While not all of us can actually join Loreen, Arturo, Alex and Stacy on their trip, we can certainly be with them in spirit – and lend them our support and appreciation.