POTSDAM Every year, Jennifer A. Dean finds herself getting teary-eyed when motorcycles rev up their engines before zooming away from Tons Sports Bar for the Ride to Breathe.
Mrs. Dean, Canton, started the annual motorcycle ride in 2004 after her daughter, Bethany P. Dean, was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis.
The toddler died on her second birthday, Feb. 18, 2006, following surgery at Upstate Medical University, Syracuse. Since then, coordinating the fundraiser is both therapeutic and rewarding for her mother.
It has helped me with a lot of the grief, Mrs. Dean said. I still get teary-eyed sometimes when people ask me about Bethany, but its gotten easier to talk about.
All of the proceeds from Ride to Breathe go the national Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, an organization dedicated to researching a cure for the disease. The event is supported by business and community sponsors.
Cystic fibrosis is an inherited, chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive systems of about 70,000 people worldwide. A defective gene and its protein cause the body to produce a thick, sticky mucus that clogs lungs and interferes with digestion.
Mrs. Dean and her husband, Scott J., also have two sons, Ryan F., 18, and Hunter C., 11.
This years event is June 3, beginning and ending at Tons Sports Bar, 159 Market St. Registration begins at 10 a.m. with the ride starting at noon.
The 110-mile ride throughout St. Lawrence County finishes with a barbecue at Tons.
Those riding solo on the motorcycle pay $15, while two-person rides pay $25.
To register, contact Mrs. Dean at 854-0745 or firstname.lastname@example.org.