Compassion. Courage. Commitment. That is the mantra of the Wisconsin ACT Ride which motivates riders, crew and volunteers during the four day, 300 mile journey.
For the second year, Globe University-Madison East massage therapy students, alumni and instructors volunteered their time to give massages to the
bicyclists and crew over the four day fundraising event, which raises funds for the services Wisconsin AIDS Network provides and awareness about HIV and AIDS. To date, this year’s riders and crew have raised $175,372 and the combined 12 rides $3,139,961.
This year those Globe University students, alumni and instructors cheered extra loud for one special bicyclist, health care management student Michael Stacey. Michael chose to participate in the ride this year to honor his brother who passed away in March. Michael, who started an internship at the AIDS Network earlier this year, said he was inspired by the wonderful people at the AIDS Network and wanted to help bring awareness to HIV and AIDS.
For Michael, the ACT Ride allowed him to heal. “I had never really accepted my AIDS diagnosis, nor had I truly forgiven myself for the self-hatred I had developed because of it,” Michael Stacey said. “There was a part of me that was still blaming myself for the diagnosis. Something those afflicted with this illness often do.”
As one of the riders, Michael was able to take advantage of the massages Globe University students, alumni and instructors gave throughout the ride. “The massage services provided are an invaluable part of this ride. I do not think I could have done it without them,” Michael said. “Offering these services at lunch, which is often the midway point of the day, is beneficial in helping prevent injury and the students are very skilled and do a phenomenal job. I cannot say enough about how valuable these services are.”
Massage therapy student Caroline Allen volunteered during the ride and said, “I love that we can make a difference for people who took time out of their days to do something so extraordinary for a cause.”
Michael looks forward to participating in the ACT Ride next year and says, “This experience changed my life! Imade countless new friends, drew awareness to HIV and AIDS, and, in the process, transformed myself. For the first time in my life, I can honestly and unequivocally say that I am very proud of who I am and grateful for everything I have experienced. I wouldn’t be the man I am without all those challenges in life that have left an indelible imprint on my being—one that is truly positive and empowering. It is my hope that next year there is a team Globe!”
“Thank you for Globe University’s support of the 12th Annual Wisconsin AIDS Ride, ACT 12,” said AIDS Network Development Director Dan Curd. “We are indebted to you for your part in making this unique event a major fundraising success for AIDS Network.”