“Strong bodies bike that weak bodies may be nourished.” These are the words of Blair Glasgo, a fourth-year medical student at Ohio State and a rider in the 2012 Ride for World Health (R4WH), a student-run cross-country bike ride that raises money for and awareness of global and domestic health issues in the U.S. and abroad. Blair is among 19 young adults from around the country who are using a national cycling event as a vehicle for change.
Beginning in early April, the cyclists took off on their 3,700-mile ride from San Diego to Washington, D.C., stopping at 45 sites along the way to educate, advocate and fundraise for world health. Developed in partnership with the Global Health Council and University Coalitions for Global Health Resource Group (UCGH), the group’s Coast-to-Coast Lecture Series was intended to initiate meaningful dialogue throughout communities along their path about the current state of global health, as well as to stimulate conversation regarding these problems and explore possible solutions. Discussion topics focused on infectious disease, which account for 22% of the world’s mortality; the impact of mental health problems and suicides in special populations; and poverty around the world, its contributors and possible solutions.
While fundamental to the team’s efforts, education alone is insufficient to generate the change they hope to see in the world. The riders also crusade for funds to support certain beneficiaries that have been selected for the year. Dollars raised during the 2012 R4WH will go to three organizations -- Louie's Kids, a foundation that fights obesity in children; MANA, a charitable organization which seeks to alleviate the health burden on children with severe acute malnutrition; and Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods (SOIL), a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting soil resources, empowering communities and transforming wastes into resources in Haiti. Each rider is committed to meeting a fundraising goal that goes directly to one of these beneficiaries.
RFWH is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 2004 by a group of fourth-year medical students at Ohio State who shared an interest in global health issues. The year 2006 marked the inaugural cross-country ride, with the team raising more than $70,000 to support the vital work of Partners in Health, the organization founded by internationally acclaimed physician, Dr. Paul Farmer.
The 2012 R4WH event is sponsored by roll:, Siemens, OSU Wexner Medical Center, PowerBar and individual donors.
Find out more about Ride for World Health. See the schedule of events below.
Global Health Day 2012 Celebration at OSU
When: Friday, May 25
Time: 11:00 AM-1:00 PM
Where: Meiling 160
Severe Acute Malnutrition: Diagnosis and Treatment by R4WH
HIV: A Global Perspective by Jesse Kwiek, PhD
Food Safety & Security in a Global Context: The Farm to Table Experience by Armando Hoet, DVM, PhD, Dipl ACVPM
International Medical Experience: The Traveling Doctor by David Ries, MD
International Travel Tips: Boil It, Cook It, Peel It, or Forget It!? by Shu-Hua Wang, MD, MPH&TM
Food: Provided by Lavash Café, Aab India and Cazuela’s Grill
Fundraiser: Join R4WH cyclists at the BBR for an evening of fun and fundraising.
Solidarity Bike Ride
Ride side-by-side with the 2012 R4WH cyclists on your choice of a 20- or 40-mile route and learn about the team’s cross-country cycling and community action experiences. When
: Saturday, May 26Time
: 8:00 a.m. (arrive 30 minutes prior to start time)Where
: Roll: Lane Avenue, 1510 W. Lane Ave., Upper Arlington; Phone: 614-230-2222Who
: Everyone, All cyclists, All levels. All you need is a bike and a helmet! Fees
: $40 for non-students; $25 for students
Proceeds from this event will go to support two beneficiaries, Village Health Works and Esperanca, which work to provide sustainable healthcare to those most in need worldwide.Route
: 20-mile option is mostly flat bike paths with gentle hills along the Olentangy River bike trail.
40-mile option is mostly on roads with moderate hills, all paces are welcome.
Find out more about the 2012 R4WH Solidarity Ride