Madonna, Cher, Michael Bublé and Kathleen Turner became among the daily routs for a daily bike ride called "Wheels of Love" that broke records for the leading Israeli child rehabilitation hospital ALYN, which earned more than $ 3.5 million.
Five-day cycling, which offers many routes for many riding levels, has just ended in Israel. The goal was to raise $ 3.2 million for children at ALYN Hospital in Jerusalem, a non-profit medical center established 85 years ago, to rehabilitate sick children as soon as possible. At the end of the trip, this figure was $ 3 517 634.
It is the most comprehensive annual international charity event in Israel, with hundreds of volunteers and volunteers from the Jewish state and around the world.
About 600 cyclists took part in the largest contingent of non-Israeli cyclists (almost one-third) flying from the United States. In the first three days, the riders faced challenging road and mountain routes in the south and the Dead Sea and in the last two days the riders reached the slopes of the Judean Hills. At the end of the ride, cyclists from all directions gather and drive along with a police escort to the hospital where they are welcomed by a hero from current patients, employees, friends and families who gathered to give tribute to their efforts and generosity.
"Entering ALYN on the last day of the ride is a very exciting, yet humble experience," says Ben Cohen, who runs with the AK Riders team around his native town of Woodmere, NY. "You've just completed five days of driving, overcoming many obstacles- warmth, rough terrain, crazy slopes, exhausting hills, and then you see kids who are awakening every day in their lives to great challenges … and they give our medal! "
Harmon Grossman from Teaneck, NJ, has now completed a round trip eight times. "People talk about all the holy places in Jerusalem, but I can tell you that the most holy place in Jerusalem is a hospital where professionals and volunteers help children from all corners of Israel to overcome the deepest challenges that life can pose."
He adds that "the final climbing to Jerusalem is always physically demanding, but when you go to the hospital and there are those deeply affected children who are waiting for you happily to see you and place the medal around your neck, well, I'm not embarrassed to tell you that everyone year's crying. "
This was the sixth time for Ron Offer. The offer that trains for a ride in Silver Spring and the surrounding area, Md., Says children ALYN are "real heroes / heroes" driving. "They struggle every day of the year, long after we got out of our bikes, and they did not take a voluntary effort on their part, and they can not simply" stop on horseback "when they want, they fight and never give up.
Indeed, the most inspirational group of participants is patients and former patients alone – Swift and Bold ALYN drivers who join in full or just a day on tandem bicycles, on a hand cycle or even on a regular bike according to their individual ability and under the direction specialized volunteers.
"I feel amazing," says 17-year-old Qais Oweis, who just finished the 50-kilometer ride a second time. Qais, who can now walk with a crutch after several operations, has been rehabilitated for several months after operations at ALYN.
Predefine your skills
Ruth Witztum, a physiotherapist at ALYN's rehabilitation center, has been running Swift and Bold for the last 7 years. The rider on the bike, alone in the first year at ALYN, was driving as a participant in "The Wheel of Love". The following year she looked at the children she cared for and thought that some of them could attend. In the beginning, children and families thought it would be impossible. Some could not go, some could only go out for assistance – and Witztum asked them to ride for two miles!
But the children came to the challenge and Ruth saw a remarkable change. "Dreams about two kilometers" became 10 kilometers; this has increased children's self-confidence as well as the trust of their parents. Parents were so accustomed to work schedules at the time of treatment that they had to "switch devices" and knew they were now preparing a training schedule. Children who could not attend other out-of-school activities were now part of the group.
According to Witztum's words, "Bicycling has provided better health, independence, and mobility to these children, and we needed to find the right wheel for each of them." More importantly, a successful driver allows them to redefine their handicap but their ability to ride.
Now, children between the ages of 10 and 22 are seriously trained with a group of volunteers for four months to drive. This year, there were 15 members of the Swift and Bold Team who, together with other cyclists from Israel and from abroad, went on field and road tracks on tandems and hand wheels.
Campaign donations help bridge the gap between actual hospital spending, high-quality multidisciplinary rehabilitation treatments it provides, and the payment of regular official payments to each hospital.
Dr. Maurit Beeri, director of ALYN Hospital, explains that "the funds obtained allow us to provide the treatment and therapies they need, rather than limit the care to the basic needs covered by the Israeli national health care system." Every other penny goes to other therapists, a wider choice of ways emotional support, innovative interdisciplinary projects, and more hands-on care, helping the child get a special chance that can only change the world. "