Cyclist to ride coast to coast to raise funds for research
On May 25, Springville resident Robert Brigance Jr. will leave San Francisco, Calif., for Jacksonville, Fla., via Yorktown, Va., to raise awareness of and research funds for Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency. Alpha-1 has no cure at this time and is an inherited genetic disease.
Many individuals with Alpha-1 do not know they are living with it until tested. Affected individuals can experience serious lung disease as adults or liver disease at any age. The most common lung symptoms of Alpha-1 are shortness of breath, wheezing, chronic cough and sputum (phlegm) production, and recurring chest colds. Symptoms related to the liver are eyes and skin turning yellow (jaundice), swelling of the abdomen and vomiting blood or passing blood in the stool. The good news is that testing is available via your family physician. Early diagnosis can help an Alpha (an individual living with the disease), consider different lifestyles, professions or other personal decisions that could maintain or improve their health. Learn more at www.alpha-1.org.
Donations can be made at www.BuildingFriendsforaCure. kintera. org/ rbtransam2015. All donations go to Alpha-1 research.
Robert has extended family in Maryland with Alpha-1. These family members include two toddlers born with this genetic deficiency who have a full life ahead of them but will need careful management of their condition. There is a growing nationwide community as new diagnoses are made.
Robert is an avid cyclist with over 20 years of riding experience including numerous events including fundraising rides for multiple sclerosis; commuting to work; day-touring Idaho, Arizona and California; and a week-long tour of Southern Utah’s national parks. He also rides occasionally with the Boat Dock Bandits cycling club in Utah County.
When contemplating his 4,236 mile TransAm tour, Brigance wanted to combine his personal celebration of retirement, health, faith, family and love of cycling with a greater purpose. Alpha-1 came to mind, needed contacts were made and the rest is history.
Springville resident and cyclist Robert Brigance Jr. is shown on a typical training day. Brigance will cycle from coast to coast beginning May 25 to raise awareness about and research funds for Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency, a disease which can result in serious lung and liver disease.