WKU students biking cross-country to raise funds for Alzheimer’s research

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) Fourteen fraternity brothers are spending a majority of their summer break biking across the country in hopes of raising money for Alzheimer’s research.

The Western Kentucky University students, part of Bike4Alz, are biking coast-to-coast - from San Francisco, California to Virginia Beach, Virginia. This year’s mission, the latest in a number of rides dating back to 2010.

“We’re eight and a half weeks in, biking pretty much every day,” Ken Barlow, one of the riders with Bike4Alz, said.

The students bike an average of 70 miles a day, stopping in various cities to spread awareness of the impact Alzheimer’s disease has.

“They say one in six are affected by Alzheimer’s or know someone who is,” Barlow said. “Seeing that play out in people’s everyday lives and being able to help stop it hopefully in the future has been a big deal for me.”

Along the journey, they “Dedicate A Day” and ride in honor of that person, thinking of their family members and loved ones.

The journey is personal for support driver Alex Crittenden, who follows the riders making sure they have food and water and get to their next stop safely.

My grandmother, she had a form of dementia,” Crittenden explained. “When I was in middle school I used to take care of her some with my mom and dad. It was really hard on our family. So that’s probably the main reason why I joined this trip.”

Crittenden and Barlow both said it’s an exhausting trip, but they focus on the people they’re riding for.

"When we get tired or anything or down, we just think about the people who have been affected or our own families who have been affected. It just keeps us going,” Crittenden said.

Bike4Alz is hoping to raise $70,000 before July 20th, which is when they expect to get to their last stop: Virginia Beach. So far, they have raised about $50,000. Those wishing to donate can click here.

The group has a fundraiser set for Sunday, July 7 at Kingfish in Louisville from 5-8 p.m. There will be live music, a silent auction with over 50 items and Bike4Alz merchandise for sale to help reach their fundraising goal.