Astrobiology Major Cycles for Scleroderma

As the end of the school year nears, everybody has started planning their summer. Some will be going home, some will be taking summer classes and others will be seeking some form of adventure. While everybody will be busy relaxing after a whole year of hard work, one person will be doing something exceptional, and that person is Wade Dauberman.

Wade is planning to bike around 4,700 miles across the United States to raise money for Scleroderma research. Wade is a very busy person, between being a graduating senior and a fitness instructor at the Clemente Center. Some of you might also remember Wade as the one who rode a spin bike for 15 hours for last year’s Relay For Life, raising more than $500 for the cause. I feel very privileged that he is participating in an interview with me.

  • Me: “Who is Wade Dauberman?”
     “I am a graduating senior at Florida Tech. I am an astrobiology major and plan to earn a Ph.D. in biological sciences.  I grew up in Central Pennsylvania, surrounded by corn fields and Amish.”
  • Me: “Where did your love of cycling come from?”
    Wade: “I began serious cycling just over a year ago after my dad passed away. At the time I was still recovering from a knee injury and it was one of the only things I could do without pain. Now I have fallen in love with it and have participated in numerous rides in the area. I completed my first century (100 miles) back in October. I never thought I would be able to do that.”
  • Me: “What are your plans for the summer?”
    Wade: “I will be biking across the United States – just me, essentials like camping gear and a tent, and my bike. I will leave the day after graduation. The first part of my trip will take me to my hometown in Central Pennsylvania, where my family is planning a big fundraising festival on the 27th of May, for me to ride into. After a few days of rest I will begin the second part of my trip, which will take me toward Seattle and the Pacific Ocean.”
  • Me: “What motivates you for the summer trip?”
    Wade: “My reason for doing this is to raise money and awareness for scleroderma, which is the disease my father passed away from. I figured this would be a great way to honor his life and help others currently fighting this disease. One of the values my father taught me was to always reach out and help others before helping yourself and I figured this would be the best way to do it.”
  • Me: “Many people do not know about Scleroderma.  It would be great if you could sum it up for them.”
    Wade: “Scleroderma is a pretty rare disease, affecting about 300,000 people in the United States. It is an auto-immune disorder and causes a hardening of the cells on the organs. Depending on which organ it affects the most, can determine the severity of the disease. Currently, there is no cure and there have been multiple ways discovered that can slow it down, however, doctors are unsure which way is the best. It needs to be further researched and understood because one of the main things that happened with my dad was that it was diagnosed too late and they were not sure how to fight it. If found earlier, the outcome may have been different.”
  • Me: “Any final words?”
    Wade: “I would like to begin by thanking my sponsors College Park Bikes, Fuji Bikes, and the Scleroderma Foundation. Without them this trip would have not been feasible but with their help it has become a reality. Most importantly, I would like to thank my family and friends. Their support means the most to me and I know they will be what keeps me pedaling once I begin.”

Wade is truly someone I look up to. I feel that the world should know about him and the cause he is fighting for. While most of us worry about how to make our summer fun enough, this young man is going on a trip to raise funds that WILL help save lives in the future. It’s more than a noble thing to do. He restores all the hope that people say they are losing in this generation!

Wade’s father was a great man and I know that he is proud of his son. I also know that a lot of us are too!

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