NINETEEN Members of This Family Cycled for ITP

Some memories come to mind so vividly you remember every sensation: the smells, the sights, the sounds, the feelings.

For me, many of my most vivid childhood memories involve the outdoors, a bike, and my brother.

Once free from school, my brother and I would burst out of the house, grab our bikes, and pedal to the forested park next to our neighborhood. I remember winding through wooded trails, the wind stealing my breath away. I remember feeling so free, and racing to catch my brother.

For one New Zealand family, memories of biking with family won’t soon fade – 19 family members, to be exact.

The Waikato Times recently reported the story of the Flavall family, all 19 of them, cycling for awareness of platelet disorders.

A pair of grandparents, their son and daughters, and a host of uncles, aunts, cousins and friends took on the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge, and they did it for grandson Thomas, diagnosed with idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP).

Apparently, the disorder threads through four generations of the family.

After 8 months training, the family set out in “Pedaling for Platelets” shirts. The goal? To raise $10,000 for their cause.

Nancy, the grandmother, said that two years ago, such a cycle might not have been possible. But the family and friends united, pushing each other toward their cycling and fundraising goals.

It was a time filled with emotion, support, and bonding. A time the Flavalls won’t soon forget.

They’ll look back days, months, years from now, and remember every vivid sensation. And at the center of the memory? Family, and a bike (or several).

The Flavall’s story reminds me how often family pushes us toward facing what we formerly thought was impossible. That kind of support is so important when facing a diagnosis, life with a rare disease.

You can read more about the Flavall family here.

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