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news item News Tuesday, December 18, 2018 Tuesday, December 18, 2018 1:04 PM - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 1:04 PM

Coast to coast

Patient’s family members bikes over 4,000 miles to fundraise for the Portland Shriners Hospital

Some people might wonder what could possibly inspire a person to bike ride over 4,000 miles in just 92 days. For Roger and his grandson Kyle, the reason was simple: Shriners Hospitals for Children — Portland.

In the summer of 2017, after experiencing some back pain and discovering a lump in her back, Rachel’s parents, Jenny and Paul, took her to the Portland Shriners Hospital. She was diagnosed with severe scoliosis, requiring a quick surgical intervention. “Rachel thought her pain was normal, but after taking her to the Portland Shriners Hospital, things happened really quickly,” said Jenny. In October of 2017, Rachel underwent a spinal fusion to correct two spinal curves and a rotation of her spine. “She immediately was different. She grew two inches after her surgery, sat up straighter, and her shoulders were level. She can literally do anything she wants now.”

To give back to the hospital that provided care to Rachel, Roger (Rachel’s grandfather) and Kyle (Rachel’s brother) decided to embark on a cross-country bike ride to raise funds for Shriners Hospitals for Children — Portland. Equipped with their bikes and camping supplies, Roger and Kyle kicked off their journey in Washington with a mission of raising funds and spreading awareness about scoliosis. Kyle brought Rachel’s X-rays into every restaurant where they dined so he could show other patrons the reason behind their journey. “Pretty much with everyone we met, we would bring up why we were doing it, and what Rachel had overcome. We would show them pictures. There was a lot of shock about the severity of her curvature,” said Kyle.

After 92 days of bike riding, and over $3,000 raised, Kyle and Roger completed their 4,049 mile journey by touching their tires to the Atlantic Ocean. They celebrated their hard work with a lobster dinner in Bar Harbor, Maine. When asked what this journey has meant to Roger, he answers tearfully, “It trumps just about anything else I’ve ever done.”

Rachels' before and after X-rays