Athletes work together for a good cause
MIAMI (WSVN) -- An Indy car racer made a pit stop at a South Florida Hospital and brought along a Miami Dolphin player for a good cause.
Indy car driver Ryan Hunter-Reay and Dolphins wide receiver Brian Hartline teamed up for a fund-raising event to help raise money for children's cancer research.
The duo dropped by Alex's Place, a pediatric treatment center in Miami on Thursday. "It's great to see the looks on their faces and have a really good time with them, and their big Dolphins fans, so we enjoy it," Hartline said.
The masks could not hide the excitement and the treatment could not dull the smiles. "It's just amazing how brave some of these kids are. You know, fighting cancer at such a young age and just how optimistic they are. It brightens our day, it makes us happy, and it brightens the kids day too," Hunter-Reay said.
But for Hartline and Hunter-Reay, the visit was not enough. Next week, they will trade in the RPM's and the receptions and team up again to participate in the Dolphins Cycling Challenge. "This is a huge event; 2,500 riders now, and it's gaining momentum every year," Hunter-Reay said.
And that momentum means money. Riders have raised more than $1.5 million this year alone, and it's all staying in South Florida. To fund research at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, home to Alex's Place.
The DCC started in 2010 and offers something for cyclists of all skill levels. From a two-day, 170-mile round trip from Sun Life Stadium to West Palm Beach, to a 13-mile ride from Fins training camp in Davie to the finish line in Miami Gardens.
For the riders, it isn't the distance that matters, it is the destination. "I am grateful that I did the ride," former Miami Dolphin Mark Duper said. "I am grateful to know that I got a second chance and what gave me a second chance is Sylvester."
Duper discovered he had cancer while participating in the cycling challenge.
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