NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A challenging bike ride ended in New York on Thursday. The 500 mile journey was completed by two cystic fibrosis patients.
“Staying active with cystic fibrosis really keeps your lungs clear, the biggest problem with CF is the lungs get clogged up with mucus, so exercise is really important,” Jerry Cahill told TV 10/55’s Meg Baker.
Cahill had a double lung transplant 3-and-a-half years ago, and just finished a 500 mile bike ride from Bar Harbor, Maine to New York-Presbyterian/Columbia in the name of Cystic Fibrosis.
The Boomer Esiason Foundation’s ‘Bike To Breathe’ event encourages people with cystic fibrosis or CF, and their families to stay active and exercise. “Back in 1993, my son Gunner was diagnosed. Here we are 20 years later and we are celebrating accomplishments of Jerry Cahill, 56-year-old, completed his second 500 mile bike ride,” Boomer said.
Cahill’s riding partner Emily Schaller, 33, started cycling, running, and exercising in 2007 because she was sick of being sick.
“Raised awareness for patients. Everyone along the way shared our stories and raised some funds,” Schaller said. The duo was surrounded by their doctors at the finish line.
“Promoting sports is a significant part of CF care,” Dr. Selim Arcasoy said. Dr. Joshua Sonett performed Cahill’s double transplant and a few months later ran a 5k race with him.
“Jerry is a great example of Boomer’s program for CF. Keeping the body as strong around bad lungs, as you can to keep yourself going. A model you can use for any disease, keep your bodystrong,” Dr. Sonett said.
“Making people aware they can get out, do something, don’t have to run a marathon, you can bike, walk, move your body it’s really important,” Cahill said. Cahill talks about keeping his body strong, but said his heart is the strongest in bringing awareness to the cause.
So far, the Bike To Breathe event has raised $200,000 their goal is to raise $300,000.