The Houston Police Department's relay bike team has raised millions of dollars for cancer research by pedal and will bike to Maine next week for this year's fundraiser. But before the journey, as part of their preparations, the team checked in to MD Anderson's Children's Hospital to give a lesson in bike safety.
They've done this for 32 years now. Uniformed Houston police officers, men and women put down their weapons and indulged in a little impromptu art work and conversations with some of the hospital's youngest cancer patients.
Their trip next week will raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
"I had leukemia for four years myself," said Sgt. Jeff Headley. "After four years of treatment, a bone marrow transplant that failed, and a miraculous recovery afterward, I made a decision I wasn't going to waste what was done for me."
Lt. Randy Upton will join Headley on the trek.
"We all know leukemia is the number one child killing disease and ten times the number of adults die from it ," he said. " The survival rate has gone from low teens twenty years ago to over 80 percent today. We've found cures and treatments (for other cancers) and it was through leukemia research that has founded a lot of other cancer cures."
The children and some of their siblings got a quick lesson in the importance of wearing helmets while riding, but every adult in attendance, parents included, would agree, the little ones also did some teaching.
"Oh my gosh. He has taught me a lot," said Jennifer Funderburk of her six year old son Jackson. " He has, you know no matter what's going on, he is always moving on and going to the next fun thing in life. He doesn't let anything slow him down that's for sure."
Web link for information on the team's mission or to donate: