Ride 4 Williams Syndrome is a fully sanctioned by the Ontario Cycling Association (OCA). All cyclists must follow the Cyclist’s Responsibility Code. Safety is our number one priority, and all cyclists must obey all rules of the roads, including stopping at stop signs and traffic lights. Please be alert and attentive, and have a safe and fun ride!
The Ride 4 Williams Syndrome is the first-ever cycling event being held as a tribute to individuals living with the genetic condition, Williams Syndrome. Williams Syndrome is a genetic condition present at birth, which affects individuals simply by chance. Despite medical hardships and intellectual challenges, people with Williams embrace life and everyone around them, with unconditional love and complete acceptance.
It is characterized by several medical problems, including cardiovascular disease, developmental delays, and learning disabilities. However, these issues often occur side by side with striking verbal abilities, highly social personalities and a strong affinity for music. Williams Syndrome affects 1 in 10,000 people worldwide – an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 people in the United States. It is known to occur in every culture, as well as equally in males and females. Children with Williams Syndrome are known for being social, friendly and endearing. Parents often say the joy and perspective a child with Williams Syndrome brings into their lives has been unimaginable.
But there are major struggles as well. The majority of individuals with Williams Syndrome have some type of heart or blood vessel problem. They typically develop hypercalcemia, dental abnormalities, musculoskeletal problems and/or kidney abnormalities. As a result, children with Williams Syndrome need costly and ongoing medical care. Early intervention programs (such as speech or occupational therapy) are instrumental in determining one’s success.
The Ride 4 Williams Syndrome was established to raise awareness about Williams Syndrome. All money raised from the 2015 Ride 4 Williams Syndrome will go towards genetic research through the SickKids Foundation. Together, we can build a better future for children and adults with Williams Syndrome.
This year’s ride will feature 5 events:
1. A 94 km Century ride for pro/advanced cyclists
2. A 47 km ride for advanced cyclists
3. A 20 km ride for intermediate cyclists – one hill challenge
4. A Kids Fun Ride/Family Walk on track