Team FSHD Skyland Trail Launches Its Race Across America (RAAM) this Saturday, June 15

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Cyclists will compete in the 3,000-mile race to raise awareness and funds for muscular dystrophy and mental health

Members of 2017 Team FSHD Cycling will be racing again this year.

Members of 2017 Team FSHD Cycling will be racing again this year.

“FSH muscular dystrophy affects me, along with nearly one million others around the world.” George Pollock

The FSH Society announced today that Team FSHD Skyland Trail will be embarking on the “world’s toughest bike race,” Race Across America, to raise funds and awareness for muscular dystrophy and mental health. Donations made by supporters will benefit two non-profit organizations: The FSH Society, focused on facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD), and Skyland Trail, focused on mental health and suicide prevention.

Pedaling from Oceanside, California, to Annapolis, Maryland, the 8-person team expects to cover more than 450 miles a day and complete the race in fewer than seven days.

Supporters of Team FSHD Skyland Trail have organized events to celebrate the team:

  • June 13, 2019, from 4:00-7:00 PM a Kickoff Party will be held at Urge Gastropub and Whiskey Bank, 2002 South Coast Highway, in Oceanside, CA. Guests can register here.
  • June 22, 2019, supporters will greet the team at the finish line in Annapolis, Maryland. Details and updates will be posted on the FSH Society’s event calendar.

Team captains and long-time friends George Pollock and Powell Brown joined forces to tackle the grueling, 3,000-mile bicycle race because of their friendship and the shared belief that “the link between mental and physical health is real and critical to whole care.”

Pollock has FSHD, a hereditary muscle disease, but he is able to compete in the long-distance race. The FSH Society focuses on initiatives to accelerate the development of treatments for the disease, which affects around 1 in 8,000 men, women, and children and can lead to severe disability.

Brown was inspired to join Pollock’s RAAM team as co-captain this year on behalf of Skyland Trail, an Atlanta-based nonprofit that helps people with mental illness thrive through a holistic program of evidence-based psychiatric treatment, integrated medical care, research, and education.

“FSH muscular dystrophy affects me, along with nearly one million others around the world,” Pollock noted. “There may come a time when I cannot pedal a bicycle. Until then, I will continue to ride, and I encourage everyone to enjoy their passions and be ambassadors for our efforts to find a cure.”

“We are raising awareness, helping to erase the stigma associated with mental illness and raising money for education, research, and treatment of these serious disorders which affect so many of our friends, family, and colleagues,” said Brown. “Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death in youth ages 10 to 24. I am riding to change that.”

Supporters can learn more and donate to Team FSHD Skyland Trail at https://teamfshd.fshsociety.org/raam

The FSH Society, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, is the world’s largest research-focused patient advocacy organization for facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD). Based in Lexington, Massachusetts, its mission is to accelerate the development of research on treatments and a cure; to educate, empower, and activate individuals and families with FSHD; and to increase support for FSHD research and patients through effective engagement of government and private sector organizations. For more information, visit http://www.fshsociety.org and facebook.com/FSHSociety.

Located in Atlanta, Georgia, Skyland Trail is a nationally recognized nonprofit mental health treatment organization serving adults ages 18 and older. Since 1989, Skyland Trails has served over 3,400 clients. It is a national leader in groundbreaking therapeutic approaches, providing community-based treatment programs for adults across the country. Skyland Trail offers a broad range of services to improve individual mental, physical, and social wellbeing, with innovative treatments that integrate mental, physical, and spiritual health. For more information, visit http://www.skylandtrail.org.

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June Kinoshita
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