Rain dampened picturesque Cape Cod during this year’s Escape to the Cape Bike Trek, a late September event that raises awareness and funds in support of patients who live with respiratory conditions, including the rare disease Alpha 1 Antitrypsin Deficiency.
The team of cyclists persevered – with some covering 100+ miles. Rose Kleckner, a CSL Behring Specialty Product Manager, rode 48 miles during the weekend and said she was energized by Dee, a fellow rider and Alpha 1 patient. The inherited condition is caused by a lack of an important protein that controls inflammation in the lungs. Without it, breathing is affected and some patients need assistive oxygen.
“Dee gave us her patient story the night before the start of the ride. Additionally, I rode with Dee on the course for some of the time,” Kleckner said. “It really drove home the importance of the work that we do every day at CSL to help patients live full lives and achieve their goals.”
Dee, who several years ago climbed Washington state’s Mt. Rainier with a CSL employee group, said she hadn’t been on a bike in years. But she keeps active, including summertime outings in a pedal-operated kayak, which she said helped, especially on day 1, when she cycled 30 miles. Day 2 was a shorter ride due to weather. Dee thanked Linda Cornwell, a CSL Patient Engagement Associate, for being her cycling partner.
“I wasn't certain of my ability to ride with my shortness of breath,” Dee said. “Linda, was such a great support for me. She was by my side always letting me determine how much I could do. I was so surprised by riding 30 miles on day one! I'm not sure I've ever ridden that far!”
Here are a few more photos from the event: