June 10, 2008
CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine:
SRU cyclist rides to Maine for cystic fibrosis awareness
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Brian McCandless, a Slippery Rock University junior who has had cystic fibrosis all his life, embarks Thursday on a 30-day bicycle ride to Maine and back - his second annual "Brian's Ride" to raise awareness of the illnesses.
Emily DiMatteo, a 2005 SRU graduate from Pittsburgh, will travel with McCandless. McCandless pedaled to Florida last year and raised $14,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation through pledges. He hopes to exceed the amount this year.
"Maine is a mountainous state, and I really wanted to take a different route this year to get new people interested in the cause," said McCandless, who will depart 10 a.m. from SRU's Robert N. Aebersold Student Recreation Center.
He and DiMatteo plan to travel 100 miles a day, staying in motels and churches along the way. A support van will carry gear.
Cystic fibrosis is a life-threatening condition that affects the respiratory and digestive systems, resulting in problems with breathing and maintaining healthy body weight. More than 30,000 Americans have cystic fibrosis.
McCandless, a physical education major, is a member of the SRU Cycling Club and Outdoor Adventures Program. He teaches cycle aerobics and rock climbing at the recreation center.
Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.