The 9th annual Tour DaVita took place September 26-30 in North Carolina to benefit Bridge of Life, the primary program of DaVita Village Trust. Bridge of Life serves thousands of men, women and children through four impact areas: kidney care, primary care, education & prevention, and medically supported camps for kids. In 2015, Bridge of Life will complete 47 medical missions, 32 chronic kidney disease (CKD) screening events, 15 medical camps for kids, and will impact more than 9,000 lives in the United States and abroad.
This year, 564 cyclists and 44 sponsors raised $1.2M to participate in the Tour DaVita in 3 of the rainiest days North Carolina has suffered in 2015. All 3 days featured ride courses best described as Rolling, Rolling, Rolling…
Day 1: 79 miles through the Cape Fear River Valley farmland around Sanford, NC. Wet, wet, wet… the first day is always tough as the body gets used to sitting on a bike for 4 plus hours.
Day 2: 102 miles around the rolling sand hills of Moore and Lee counties: over 5 hours of cycling in the rain.
Day 3: 65 mile loop ride from Pinehurst, NC: finally a dry day! All cyclists in the Tour stopped at a DaVita clinic and were greeted by a local high school band. Kent Thiry, DaVita CEO, gave a brief presentation celebrating why the riders cycle and why DaVita makes a difference. Ben had the opportunity to ride with Kent Thiry during the last leg of the day’s course. Kent was quite impressed to learn that Henry Schein TSMs were also participating in the event as “red shirt” volunteers.
Kent has a tradition of singing the “Warrior Song” before jumping into cold water: so 6 of us sang with him before jumping into a lake near the end of the ride. Immediately after finishing his ride, Kent got off his bike and went to the finish line to dance, cheer, high five and hug each rider as they finished their Tour.
Each night the riders slept in tents as the rain continued to fall creating an extensive network of canals and mud throughout the campsite. All of this rain did not dampen the spirits nor the enthusiasm by the Tour DaVita riders. Many rode farther than they ever imagined as they remained committed to their cause. During the evening events, participants volunteered to tell personal stories about why they ride: for their patients, friends and family members who suffer Chronic Kidney Disease (CRD).