EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - December 8th will be the date of the sixth annual Ride for Rett Syndrome event. Created and led by East Brunswick resident Jen Harmon, the event is an indoor cycling class that offers the opportunity for participants to raise money for charity as they work out. The Evolution by Cycle-hosted class has attracted crowds of eager cyclists in the past, and it looks to raise even more funds than ever before this year.
As its name suggests, Ride for Rett Syndrome is a charity event that aims to donate money to the New Jersey Rett Syndrome Foundation. Rett Syndrome is a very rare genetic mutation that only affects girls, but its symptoms may seem familiar to some. Rett has links with more common disorders such as autism and Parkinson’s Disease. Children with the Rett Syndrome gene seem perfectly healthy and ordinary for the first few months or even years of their life, but this is soon followed by a loss of motor skills, speaking ability, and potentially even the use of their body. It can have debilitating effects on the life of a previously-normal young girl.
There is no known cure for Rett Syndrome, but new treatments are being created slowly but surely. Physical and speech therapy have been known to help develop abilities in Rett patients that were previously affected by the disorder. But Rett patients and their families still hope for an eventual cure to be found, which is why Rett-related fundraising events are so important.
Harmon was inspired to start Ride for Rett Syndrome after a family friend was diagnosed with the disorder at the age of three, deeply affecting her own life as well as those around her. “I wanted to do whatever I could to raise money for Rett syndrome, Knowing her and her family and what their daily struggles are,” said Harmon, when asked about her motivations for planning the first spin class six years ago.
In the past five years, Ride for Rett Syndrome has raised nearly $8,000 in donations to the New Jersey Rett Syndrome Foundation, making it a very rewarding experience. “The most rewarding part is just being able to raise money to find a cure, and having one thing I can do that could help to reach that goal”, says Harmon about the experience of hosting the class.
Sign-ups for Ride for Rett Syndrome can be found on www.EvolutionByCycle.com, and the event will start at 11:30 AM on December 8th. A suggested donation of $30 is requested to attend.