Earlier this month, I spent time with the King Family who live in Weldon Spring, Mo. Their son, Tyler, has been diagnosed with Duchenne Musular Dystrophy. Through my day job, I’m constantly writing about mesothelioma, so I understand how frustrating it can be for families like the Kings who have been impacted by a rare disease that doesn’t receive much media attention.
This is why I spent four hours at their home and even hitched a ride with the cyclists’ caravan down Highway 94. Just to make sure I had all the information to write the best story I could.
The final article took me three hours to write. It was a hard topic to write about – to stay honest about the fact that DMD has no cure, but, also, present the optimism and hope, I observed from everyone there that day. I hope I succeed. You can click here to read the article or I’ve pasted it below.
From Cali to the Jersey Shore
Cyclists spanning the country for a cause stop in Weldon Spring
By Sarah Whitney, For the Journal
Saturday, August 14, 2010 3:05 AM CDT
Just after 2 o’clock in the afternoon Aug. 7, 14-year-old Tyler King pushed the joystick on his motorized wheelchair forward and raced toward “heaven.”
But the parade of cyclists whizzing down his street in Weldon Spring beat him there.
“I couldn’t go any faster. The chair only goes so fast,” Tyler said later.
Once they dismounted, each cyclist shook hands with Tyler and introduced themselves.
The cyclists, called the JettRiders, are a group of teenagers and adult leaders biking across the United States to raise money for research and awareness about Duchenne muscular dystrophy – the disease Tyler lives with.