Joe Wainwright and Eric Sheerin share a bond and now a cause.
The Pinehurst, NC, recent college graduates are leaving on a cross-country bike ride June 1 to raise awareness and money for the National Fragile X Foundation and the Montel Williams MS (Multiple Sclerosis) Foundation.
The “We Ride. You Give. They Live.” ride is in honor of Wainwright’s uncle, Giles Garrett Nicholson, who was diagnosed with Fragile X syndrome (FXS) 25 years ago, and Sheerin’s uncle, Tim Edgar, who was diagnosed with MS, also 25 years ago.
FXS is the most common cause of genetically inherited mental impairment, ranging from subtle learning disabilities and a normal IQ, to severe mental retardation and autism. Symptoms often include unique physical characteristics, behavioral deficits and delays in speech and language development. MS is an autoimmune disease that affects the ability of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord to communicate with each other, including a wide array of symptoms such as neurological problems and physical disabilities. There is no cure for FXS and MS and treatment options only control the diseases to a certain degree.
The 3,642-mile, 50-day journey will begin from the most eastern part of the country in Lubec, Maine, and end near the most southwestern part of the country in Santa Monica, Calif. Along the way, Sheerin and Wainwright, both 22, will make stops in towns and cities to raise awareness and money for both causes.
To donate or for more information, visit their fundraising page.