MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – Gabe Griffin, 9, from Birmingham, is a fun-loving and energetic kid. He knows he goes to the doctor more than other kids and has unique challenges. His parents know that the average life expectancy of people who suffer from Duchenne muscular dystrophy is 25.
Gabe’s parents went to see their congressman, Spencer Bachus, in Washington – on a mission to save their son’s life. Bachus’ Chief of Staff Michael Staley was immediately drawn to Gabe. Being an avid cyclist, he set up the Ride 4 Gabe campaign.
The mission – to spread the word that there is an experimental drug that has shown positive effects treating Duchenne and to motivate the FDA to approve it.
“If all the Duchenne families across the country were able to stand up and say, ‘No, no this isn’t right. We deserve this drug,’ then I think the FDA has no choice,” said Gabe’s father.
The Ride 4 Gabe began in Oregon 42 days ago. Along the way, many guest riders joined in, and Gabe’s message got out.
Michael Staley and Wes Bates made the entire 3,300 mile journey. They look for no credit and were inspired themselves along the way.
“At the end of the day when you break it all down and look at what we did, it’s nothing compared to what the Griffins go through every day, what Gabe will go through the rest of his life,” said Bates.
“We have ridden our bicycles across 11 states and complete and total strangers have opened their minds to our message, their hearts to Gabe and their wallets to our cause,” said Staley.
It was an emotional end to a long ride, but the journey has just begun and whatever the future holds for Gabe and his family, the Griffins will always be grateful for all those who cared.
“I want him to look back on this and know how loved he was and what Michael and Luke and Glenn and Wes and all of us have gone out here and done is shown unbelievable amounts of love for this little boy,” Gabe’s father said.