DENVER (CBS4) – A team of determined cyclists will be riding in the 30th Courage Classic Bicycle Tour this July 20 and 21 to benefit Children’s Hospital Colorado. These riders want to raise awareness and money for Colorado children with mental health challenges.
It is estimated that 226,000 kids in the state need help, yet only 22% receive professional care.
The cycling team, named “Psyched to Climb,” hopes to change that. Their fundraising focus is mental health. They want kids to have the resources and treatment they need.
On a Wednesday morning in June, Lydia Lambert Woodard took a quick training ride around Washington Park in Denver. Lydia is co-captain of “Psyched to Climb.” The team will be cycling for kids, like Chloe McNamee.
“You’re in so much pain that you just don’t know what to do with it,” Chloe told CBS4 Health Specialist Kathy Walsh.
Chloe and her brother, Ethan, had been inseparable. When Ethan was 14 years old, he died by suicide. Chloe was 12 then and died inside.
“I felt very alone and part of me wished it was me and not him,” explained Chloe. “I developed depression, and less than a year later, I got admitted to Children’s Hospital Colorado for trying to kill myself.”
Anxiety, anorexia, more hospitalizations and another suicide attempt followed.
“For a really long time I just didn’t have any hope for myself, didn’t like myself very much,” said Chloe.
Now, Chloe credits her parents and the Children’s Pediatric Mental Health Institute with giving her hope.
“My story starts with my father,” explained Lydia.
Her dad struggled with anxiety and depression starting in his teenage years. Now, Lydia has three sons.
“It’s really about raising awareness,” she said.
And she’s also pedaling to raise at least $50,000. That way the team can designate the money to Children’s Hospital mental health services and kids, like Chloe.
“By getting them into the hospital and having room for them,” said Chloe, “you could save lives.”
Join or donate to the “Psyched to Climb” team.