A Kelowna cyclist is joining several hundred other cycling enthusiasts in support of lung health.
Julie Miller will be cycling 200 kilometres for the BC Lung Association’s annual Bicycle Trek in support of her daughter who has an interstitial lung disease called Neuroendocrine Hyperplasia (NEHI).
“I’ve known about the event for a while but as I have three kids and work as a nurse full-time, finding the time can be a challenge. This year it worked out,” said Miller.
Miller said she found out about Isla’s condition when she was four month’s old and she had to be on an oxygen tank for the for three years of her life. Isla is now eight years old and she is doing much better and no longer is in need of an oxygen tank, but Miller said her breathing will never be a hundred per cent.
Miller hopes her involvement in the cycle will help raise awareness for a commonly missed lung disease like Isla’s diagnosis.
“I understand it can difficult for family physicians to know everything. I just hope by putting Isla’s story out there I can broaden awareness,” said Miller.
NEHI commonly affects children and was first classified as a disease in 2005.
“I’m really excited about taking part in Trek,” said Miller. “I already love cycling, so the road time doesn’t intimidate me at all. Cycling is my go to whenever I need a workout and to unwind. In fact, if anyone out there is interested in joining me, I’m always game for training partners!”
The Trek is fully supported by the riders who raise a minimum of $650 to participate in the two-day cycle from Fort Langley to Cultus Lake and back.
BC Lung Association events manager Marissa McFadyen said, “It’s not an event or fundraiser surrounded by the same fanfare as other large charity rides, but that’s why it’s so special. It’s more like an annual reunion of like-minded people who enjoy cycling and getting outdoors and want to do some good.”
Mcfadyen said the Trek began 35 years ago, this year’s Trek has more than 250 riders expected to participate.
To make a donation in support of Miller’s fundraising efforts click donate and search for her by name on bicycletrek.ca
The Trek falls on September 7 and 8, in Fraser Valley with all proceeds funding vital lung health research, education and advocacy programs in support of the one in five Canadians affected by lung disease.