Bike-a-Thon Saturday to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 13, 2003

Suffolk News-Herald

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, founded by the late entertainer Danny Thomas, has been helping children since 1962 to combat catastrophic diseases. On Saturday, in Suffolk, several volunteers will take part in a Bike-a-Thon, as they ride to help children like Lizzy Dorschel, a local child who received medical services at St. Jude Hospital.

Robert Nelms, a candidate for the clerk of court, serves as the coordinator for the Suffolk Bike-a-Thon, and he’s currently looking for people to sign up as participants in the event.

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&uot;We will meet at the corner of Constance Road and Broad Street by Suffolk Presbyterian Church on Saturday,&uot; said Nelms. &uot;We will begin at 9 a.m. by registering participants and we will start our ride promptly at 10 a.m. This Bike-a-Thon is set so that riders may get pledges for the amount of miles they ride, and those funds will go to St. Jude to continue to help children like Lizzy Dorschel, who was successfully treated at St. Jude. Lizzy is the daughter of Jay and Mary Alice Dorschel, and I cannot tell you how extremely grateful they are to the people who so generously contribute to St. Jude either through events like the Bike-a-Thon or the many other events.&uot;

Thanks to events like the Bike-a-Thon, said Nelms, children who receive treatment from St. Jude for diseases like Sickle Cell, cancer, leukemia, Hodgkins disease, and other child-killing diseases have a better chance to live.

Nelms added that the average Bike-a-Thon ride has 16 to 20 riders, with about $75 raised by each participant, which generates an average of $1,200 for children with cancer and other life-threatening diseases. St. Jude provides a certificate and a special T-shirt for riders collecting $35 or more, and a certificate, T-shirt and a special sports bag for everyone raising $75 or more

&uot;Everyone who turns in money, however, is presented with a certificate and our deep thanks for helping out the children of St. Jude,&uot; said Nelms. &uot;Every contribution is significant, and because this is a fun event to generate funding, we hope to see a lot of participation from the community. Every gift is a gift of life to the hospital and to the hopeless children of the world.&uot;

St. Jude is the world’s largest pediatric cancer research center in terms of the number of patients enrolled and successfully treated, Nelms added. Since its inception in 1962, it has treated about 19,000 patients from all 50 states and 60 foreign nations.

&uot;In Virginia, 136 children, including our Lizzy Dorschel, and their families, have gone to St. Jude Hospital and received total medical care for a catastrophic illness. Thousands of others have benefited from the research findings that have developed better, more successful treatment methods. St. Jude is not just a hospital, but a place that also surrounds children with love.&uot;

To obtain a form to participate in the St. Jude Bike-a-Thon, contact Robert Nelms at 925-1991.