Herbert F. Foster Jr. of Falmouth is looking for bike riders to join his effort to raise money for Maple Syrup Urine Disease research through the Million Dollar Bike Ride on June 12.
MSUD is a disorder in which the body is unable to process certain protein building blocks properly. In its most severe form, it can damage the brain during times of physical stress and, if untreated, can lead to seizures, coma and death, according to upenn.edu.
Mr. Foster has raised more than $400,000 since his son Scott died from the disease at age 22 in 1994. Most of those monies have gone to the MSUD Family Support Group as well as a donation to Massachusetts General Hospital.
The Penn Medicine Disease Center hosts the Million Dollar Bike Ride to raise money for rare disease research, including MSUD.
“This is the fourth year we’ve been invited to participate, and because it’s a rare illness we don’t have a large viewing audience,” Mr. Foster said.
“I’m 74 years old now, and I’m biking 72 miles. I’m knocking myself out, but I’m trying to raise money and hopefully find something, if it’s not a cure, something that’s going to better their lives,” he added.
The ride is normally held in Philadelphia but is being held remotely this year due to COVID-19.
“I’d like to try and get some more bike riders in Falmouth. They don’t have to join to raise money; they can just join to ride. If they choose to raise money, that would be a benefit. We don’t have to all ride together; they can ride at their own pace and can choose 13, 34 or 72 miles,” he said.
Anyone interested in riding can go to milliondollarbikeride.org and choose Team Scott. The cost is $25 if raising money and $45 for those who choose just to ride.
There is also a Remembering Scott Foster giving page that is attempting to raise an additional $10,000. The page can be found at givingpages.upenn.edu/cureMSUD and includes Scott’s story as well as information about the disease and the MSUD Family Support Group.
The first $30,000 raised will be matched by the University of Pennsylvania Trustees.