Del Mar resident chairs San Diego Cycle For Life Tour

Inaugural event to help raise funds for cystic fibrosis research

By Diane Y. Welch

Contributor

The inaugural San Diego Cycle For Life Tour, hosted by the San Diego Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Foundation and co-sponsored by Eurand Pharmaceuticals, will take place on Saturday, Oct. 30, at Mira Costa College, San Elijo campus. The event chair is Del Mar resident Michael Lefebvre, whose son, Cole, 8, has the life-threatening, chronic pulmonary disease that affects approximately 30,000 children and adults in the United States and approximately 70,000 worldwide. Currently there is no cure for CF.

Lefebvre, a member of Team CF, a nationally based cycling team that helps raise awareness for CF research, and an athlete for 30-plus years, had the idea to organize a fundraising bike tour after reading an article about a similar event in VeloNews, an online competitive cycling journal (

www.velonews.competitor.com

).

At an award banquet about a year ago he said to the director of the San Diego chapter of the CF Foundation, “‘I think we should start a fundraising ride.’ He said, 'Wow, OK. You're in charge!'”

No time was wasted in getting the event organized and Lefebvre expects that more than 100 participants will take part in the two tours —37 and 66 miles respectively — that wind their way through some of the most scenic topography in inland and coastal North County. The tour is a fully supported journey with stocked rest stops, support and gear (SAG) vehicles, and onsite medical services. It also includes an after-ride celebration at the campus.

Monies will be raised by the cost of the $40 entry fee and optional rider sponsorship. The foundation is asking that each rider generates about $150 worth of donations. There are also angel riders, “People who may have no affiliation with a rider, or they may not have the time to train for the event or the desire to ride themselves, but they support the cause. They want to be here in spirit, not in the saddle,” Lefebvre explained.

The title sponsor, Eurand Pharmaceuticals, donated $300,000 for the tour series which involves 17 cities nationally. These tours will help raise both awareness and funds to support vital cystic fibrosis programs and research.

“Eurand develops and manufactures therapeutic products to address conditions associated with CF, specifically gastro-intestinal disorders,” said Lefebvre. About 90 percent of those with CF have Exocrine Pancreative Insufficiency—ECI. Eurand has recently brought to market an FDA-approved pancreatic enzyme product that improves the CF patient's ability to absorb nutrients and hence increase their body mass index.

“There is a direct correlation between BMI and pulmonary function and health. If you've got a lot of meat on your bones you are going to do a lot better. This new product is amazing. Cole has been using it for several months and he is doing well with it,” Lefebvre said.

Although Cole suffers from CF, he remains an active, happy young boy, said Lefebvre. Formerly an avid soccer player, he now focuses his time on his first passion: the drums.

“Cole has been a drummer since he was 4 years old and will be performing at a party following the ride,” said Lefebvre. The top fund raiser will be announced and will win a custom fitting by John Howard, Cycling Hall of Famer, Ironman champion, and Eurand CF Cycle for Life Honorary Ambassador.

In closing Lefebvre said, “This tour is the opportunity for me to merge my passion and my commitment in one event. I'm committed to finding a cure for this disease and to improving the lives of those who suffer from the disease and I'm passionate about cycling.”

Mira Costa College, San Elijo Campus is located at 3333 Manchester Ave, Cardiff by the Sea.

Check-In and Event-Day Registration is at 7 a.m. Tour start is at 8 a.m.

To find out more about the tour visit

cffcycle.com

.

For more information on Cole’s heartfelt story and valiant courage, visit:

www.curecolenow.com

.

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