SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Hundreds descended upon Saratoga joining “Team Billy” Sunday morning to take part in a bike, ride and walk to raise money for brain tumor research.
Whether they were going for a bike ride or going for a walk, everybody here is waking up early to make a big difference.
“This ride is a great show of the community,” said Julie Rodgers, a riding participant.
People of all ages lined up Sunday to take part in the annual “Team Billy Ride.” Riding, walking, or volunteering, all while raising money and awareness for an illness that effects far too many.
“I lost my uncle to a brain tumor. So I’m riding for him as well. It’s for the thousands of others that have suffered through it” said Todd Shapiro, another riding participant.
“It’s one of those situations where we are all happy to be here but we wish we didn’t have to because it wasn’t an issue,” said Lauren Gainor, who works for National Brain Tumor Society.
The event is named after Billy Grey, who in 2001 (at age 13) died from a brain tumor.
His father, Ken, rides today in his honor.
“It’s all about Billy’s spirit,” Grey said.
He and his wife are co-founders for “Team Billy.” Together, they have helped to raise millions of dollars for research, but their mission is far from over.
Events like this one get them one step, or bike ride closer.
“It’s people coming together to really celebrate their loved ones to help people out. So it just means a lot that people keep coming,” Grey said.
Linda Woods. Years ago she was diagnosed with a brain tumor.
“It was a complete surprise. I had a horseback riding accident and I started to have weird episodes,” Woods said.
Due to research, and help from doctors, she was able to beat the illness and make a full recovery.
“I just think it’s a really important fundraiser for people who go through experiences like this,” Woods said.
Now she rides to help pay it forward.
Grey says it’s the hundreds just like her that can help them all put the brakes on brain tumors once and for all.
“We’re not going to forget Billy’s spirit and we’re going to keep working at it until we find a cure.” Grey said.
NEWS10 is a proud sponsor of the annual event.