Cyclists kick off cross-country ride to support Friends of FSH Research

One dozen bicyclists will be kicking off a cross-country bike trip in support of a Kirkland-based nonprofit on Saturday in downtown Seattle.

The nonprofit, Friends of FSH Research (Friends), is dedicated to raising awareness and funds to conduct research into facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSH).

FSH is a form of muscular dystrophy that primarily affects the muscles of the face, shoulder blades and upper arms. It generally manifests before the age of 20 and continues throughout life.

There is no known treatment or cure for the disease, a press release from Friends said.

Bonnie DeCaro-Monahan, the organization’s development director, said the bike marathon, called Coast 2 Coast 4 FSHD Bicycling Journey, is designed mainly to raise awareness for the disease.

“There is a tremendous amount of attention that is received by other illnesses that have made great strides in their research and we believe that FSHD deserves just as much attention and research efforts,” DeCaro-Monahan said.

The team of 12 cyclists will begin their journey at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Seattle Center in the Broad Street Green.

From there, the team will embark on the journey, which will swing through 46 cities in 15 states and cover 4,200 miles in 54 days before ending at the Brooklyn Bridge.

There will be a pre-ride meet and greet from 7-9 p.m. Friday at Postdoc Brewing in Redmond, where anyone from the community can meet the riders and have a beer.

While both events are free, attendees are asked to reserve by sending an email to bonnie@fshfriends.org.

The ride was also organized in conjunction with sportscaster Chris Carrino, the radio voice of the Brooklyn Nets, who has FSH and is putting on the ride through his nonprofit, the Chris Carrino Foundation for FSHD.

The ride and local kick-off events are being sponsored by Friends, which has raised more than $3.2 million in research funding since its inception in 2004, a release from the organization said.

“The more we can get people aware that this condition exists and supporting it, then the further we’re going to go faster in our research efforts,” DeCaro-Monahan said.

For more information, visit www.fshfriends.org.

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