In early December, the Coalition of Arizona Bicyclists was contacted by the Make-A-Wish Foundation to help fulfill the wish of a dying teenaged boy. The wish was that the boy, Dan Gutierrez, wanted to ride a bike with a group of cyclists. Arrangements were made for using the Deck (Margaret Hance) Park for the ride, and cyclists were invited to attend this special event.
Approximately 40 cyclists from several clubs came to render support for Dan. The cyclist clubs brought jerseys, and other swag for Dan to wear and enjoy, and he was thrilled. Make-A-Wish had purchased a special trike that would allow him to pedal and brake, but motive power was provided by pushing the trike, as Dan doesn’t have enough strength in his legs to propel the trike.
Dan rode from the flagpole area to 3rd Street and back surrounded by cyclists, stopping in the flagpole area again with a great big smile. Food was provided by Make-A-Wish, and everyone was taking pictures and offering encouragement to Dan for a ride well done. All who attended were touched by this boy, and went away grateful that they had come.
The Coalition of Arizona Bicyclists would like to thank the members of the bicycling community who participated in December’s Make-a-Wish Foundation event for Dan Gutierrez. The Make-a-Wish Foundation, Dan and his family were thrilled to have us all there to share in this special event and to join Dan in his ride (on his new “trike/bike”) around Margaret T. Hance Park in Phoenix.
Special thanks go to:
CAzB VP, Bob Jenson, for taking the lead in organizing cyclist participation; CAzB Board member, Sterling Baer, for translating many of the sentiments of our participants for Dan and his family; and especially those cycling folks who contacted their club members, team members and friends to assemble the various groups who joined in this event
Thank you to all of you for taking time out of your busy pre-holiday schedule to make a wish come true. After 20+ years of bicycling and advocacy, I continue to be impressed with the positive and giving spirit of the cycling community. And, it was out in full force on this day.