On May 3rd, Stephen Eith, Adrienne Anderson, Mitch Fender and Dave Jones all participated in the “Get Your Guts in Gear” (GYGIG) foundation bike ride in Georgia. Stephen and Adrienne rode the 100 mile course, Dave rode the 30 mile course and Mitch volunteered to help support the riders with refreshments, medical assistance and encouragement.
The mission of this foundation is to empower those affected by digestive diseases, such as Crohn’s and Colitis. Stephen’s sister and her husband brought the ride to Georgia for the first time after participating in a ride in New York earlier this year. After gaining support from local sponsors, including iVision, and having a successful event, GYGIG hopes for Georgia to become an annual race location.
Stephen is truly passionate about this foundation, as GYGIG’s mission hits him close to home.
“You may or may not be aware that three of my siblings and two of my nieces have Crohn’s disease. I have seen firsthand the impact of the disease on my brothers growing up and now see it in the following generation. My sister was diagnosed just after her 50th birthday. This disease has impacted their way of life, but they are fighters and with the advances of modern medicine, they are not letting it slow them down.”
– Stephen Eith
Stephen and his family are involved in many non-profit organizations. GYGIG is just one example of the ways they volunteer and give back to their community. Both his son and daughter participate in programs through their sports and schools, as well as their church.
“I didn’t really know much about Crohn’s and Colitis when I volunteered, but I wanted to help Stephen out with his cause. Once I was assigned my duties and started to meet people, it really blew me away how this disease affects people. I was soon talking to my co-pilot who ended up losing his son to cancer in 2012 that was caused by the drugs he was taking for Crohn’s and riders who had major surgery involving the removal of their large intestines only to be replaced by a man-made pouch. You would think after all of that these people would be bitter, but they were very optimistic about the future of this terrible disease. I was truly inspired by the people I met and the group of volunteers that keep GYGIG going. It was a great experience and I can’t wait to participate again next year!”
– Mitch Fender
Thanks to everyone involved who made this event a success!