Chicago Man Turns Tragedy to Triumph Through 100-Mile Ride
(April 25, 2018) -
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Chicago resident Aren Kriks and his family experienced a tragedy when they lost their father after a year-long battle with lung cancer. This June, Kriks will help fight lung disease by riding 100 miles in the American Lung Association in Greater Chicago’s Fight For Air Ride.
Shortly after his father passed away in 2012, Kriks became involved with the Lung Association’s Fight For Air Climb at Presidential Towers as a way to give back to an organization that fights lung disease. Then he discovered the Fight For Air Ride, which was appealing because he is an avid cyclist.
“I wanted to channel all this energy in a positive way,” he said. “Every year since, it has been this thing where I open the doors for my friends to support my family again. I enjoy raising money to benefit lung health, but my main take away is that people want to help.”
He started a team called “Bichael Jordan” and, through the Fight For Air Ride and the Fight For Air Climb, his teams have raised more than $20,000 for the Lung Association over the past several years. While he participates to honor his father, he also enjoys leading his friends in a healthy activity for a good cause.
“I like to get my team together, get them trained and get them healthy,” said Kriks. “I really like showing people what they are capable of, especially less confident bikers. I have worked as the bicycle coordinator for the Department of Transportation and now do trail improvements, so it's really become part of my life's work advocating for people to get outside and use their legs to pedal around safely and confidently.”
Taking place June 8 - 10, 2018, the Fight For Air Ride brings together hundreds of cyclists of all levels who ride approximately 50 miles per day for two or three days through northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. Each night, participants are housed at the Abbey Resort and Spa on Lake Geneva. Almost ninety cents of every dollar raised will fund research, educational programs and advocacy efforts in the fight against lung disease.
More information and registration for the Fight For Air Ride is available at FightForAirRide.org.
About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.