July 22nd 2012 was a challenging but emotional day for the many cyclists who took part in Oakville’s Gabrielle’s Ride. Hundreds of cyclists took to the streets starting from Appleby College to raise money in support of Cardiac Kids and the Pediatric Stroke Fund at The Sick Kids Foundation.
More than $75,000 was raised – an outstanding accomplishment for a great cause.
Gabrielle’s Ride is a charity event inspired by the life of Gabrielle Ide Cinanni, who died far too young from complications related to a congenital heart disease. She was only 5 years old when she passed away.
When she was two months old, Gabrielle was diagnosed with congenital heart disease. She had a unique form of coarctation of her aorta with no known treatment or cure and she struggled with the symptoms of heart failure. As an infant, Gabrielle was already fighting for her life.
Before her first birthday, she had undergone numerous invasive tests, hospital stays, frequent clinic appointments with several different specialists, therapists and had three angioplasties that the family hoped would save her life.
Within weeks of being diagnosed with heart disease, an MRI of her brain showed that Gabrielle had also suffered a stroke. She was too young to know exactly how this stroke would impact her life but it was clear that Gabrielle’s body was vulnerable and her future was uncertain. Surrounded by love and support and with her own will to live, Gabrielle’s health improved. For five and a half years, her passion for life and her laugh filled the family’s home with joy and inspired everyone’s hearts.
She was a special little girl and her story has touched the hearts of many. And so, on that Sunday, cyclists filled the streets – everyone from the accomplished cyclists who tackled the 100-kilometre route to the ambitious cyclists participating in the 50K to families and youngsters who did the 15K and the 2K “Tyke ride”.
It was a special day for Gabrielle’s mother Nikki, who created Gabrielle’s Ride and whose passion is to use the memory of her daughter to help children in the future.
“I’m proud to play even a minor role to help this worthy cause become one of the best attended events in the Oakville area,” stated Dan Cooper. “Dan has been a great friend to Gabrielle’s Ride since its inception in 2011,” adds Nikki. “He is a philanthropic pillar of the Oakville community and has graciously shared his experience with our team over these months of preparation.”
Building a stronger community means supporting great causes such as Gabrielle’s Ride. The Dan Cooper Group supports a number of organizations, everything from minor sports teams to major campaigns that will have a significant impact on the quality of life we enjoy here in Oakville and Burlington.
A giving and caring spirit makes our community stronger – a place in which we can all be proud to live and raise a family. How we treat those in need, how we support charities and organizations that are making a difference, shape our community’s character and reputation. Today we enjoy one of the most desirable locations in Canada in which to live – because we have built a safe and caring community.
Give back to the community in any way you can; whether it is with money or time or both. Your efforts and contributions help make our community stronger and a better place in which to live.
For more information about Gabrielle’s Ride visit www.gabriellesride.com.