News : 2019 : June

Biking for Ben Returns for 2nd Year, Supports Alzheimer Disease Research at the HIHG

When Alzheimer disease robbed Evan Butters’ grandfather of his memories and ultimately took his life, the grieving former University of Miami student began exploring ways to pay tribute to the man he says had an “unbelievable sense of humor” and biked daily until 10 years before his death at the age of 95.

“That’s when Evan contacted us with an idea for a charity bike ride,” says Kelly Padgett, Sr. Center Administrator at the John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics (HIHG). “Through some online searches, he learned about the cutting edge work that our Director Dr. Margaret Pericak-Vance leads and he wanted to assist the HIHG’s efforts to understand, treat, and prevent the most common form of dementia.”

A determined young man, Evan did exactly that.

The event, called Biking for Ben, took place on Saturday, November 17, 2018 in Sunrise, FL at Markham Park. Evan organized it in conjunction with the South Broward Wheelers, a Fort-Lauderdale-based bicycle club. Approximately 90 riders participated, raising more than $10,000 to support the HIHG’s research on Alzheimer disease.

“It was a huge success,” said HIHG Director Dr. Margaret Pericak-Vance. “We’ve never heard of a charity event doing so well in its first year. There’s no doubt Evan’s grandfather would be extremely proud of him.”

Now Evan and HIHG leadership are planning the second charity ride in what will be an annual event. The next Biking for Ben will be held Saturday, November 16, 2019 at Volunteer Park in Plantation, FL. Activities like this charity bike ride provide not only financial support, they make everyone involved feel less intimated by Alzheimer disease while strengthening researchers’ commitments to finding a cure.

“The opportunity to speak with families that are directly affected by Alzheimer disease is a powerful and meaningful experiencing,” said Dr. Pericak-Vance. “They are the reason we do what we do.”

Mark your calendars and stay tuned for more details.