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Midnight Mystery Ride for Leo

Posted by on February 5th, 2008 at 7:41 pm

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At age 12, Portlander Leo Westwind knows more about liver disease than most of us ever will. Just a few weeks after he was born, Leo was diagnosed with Alagille Syndrome*, a genetic disease that primarily affects the liver. The good news: Leo recently received a liver transplant. The bad news: it’s not the end of his medical problems.

Despite his poor health, and a round of hospitalizations as an infant, Leo’s health slowly improved, and for over a decade he led an active life that included exploring Oregon’s wilderness, learning gymnastics and rock climbing, earning a blue belt in Taekwon Do and enthusiastically participating in Portland’s bike culture.

Because Leo loves Portland’s bike culture, we love Leo. We’re concerned about the financial burden of medical bills that his family is facing, and we want to do what we can to help.

We know the power of one. Every MMR since 2003, a different person has led the ride. This one single person has taken groups as large as 300 (no joke) on an amazing adventure every single month. We know that you can be the one to make a difference. That’s why we’re asking you to participate in MMR for Leo. Join us on our famous Anniversary Ride in February to celebrate with us the illustrious Leo.

Bring your dollar$! We want to $ee a lot of them.

$5 – every rider who brings $5 or more will receive the brand new superfuckingawesome MMR sticker
$40 – every rider who brings $40 or more will receive a bag stuffed with lots of cool swag including a Filmed by Bike 2007 DVD, MAYBE a set of Tireflys wheel lights (courtesy of Good Sport Promotion, but they might be all out), stickers and more.
Top $ – the rider with the most funds raised for Leo will receive a grand prize that includes this plus more:

Filmed by Bike Party for Four
Take your friends out in style! This package includes drink tickets and entry for four people to the Opening Night Throwdown of Filmed by Bike.

Worst Day of the Year Ride
Two free passes to the Worst Day of the Year Ride (courtest of Good Sport Promotion), a $100 value and a sweet Filmed by Bike package .

Start asking your fiends, coworkers and all cyclists to support your efforts to fundraise for Leo. You’ve got PLENTY of time. Asking is not that hard when the person you’re helping is as great as Leo.

Use this flyer to show people more about the cause. Make checks payable to Kyr Westwind (Leo’s mom), or just collect cash. Bring your total to the MMR.

This year Leo’s health began deteriorating; in December he was on bed rest, and slept much of the time; he could not walk unaided, and he was experiencing a great deal of joint pain and body aches. His parents and primary care doctors were determined to find the best possible care for Leo, and after much research, sought treatment at Seattle Children’s Hospital. The specialists in Seattle are cautiously optimistic about their ability to treat Leo, but that treatment is very expensive, as is the travel back and forth from Portland. The family already owes thousands of dollars for treatment Leo received in Seattle last spring, and now are facing the the need to pay for his liver transplant, which could total as much as $300,000. Even with the transplant, his ongoing treatment and care will be catastrophically expensive.

About Alagille Syndrome
article 1 | article 2

Second Friday of February
Good Neighbor Pizza, NE 8th and Dekum
9:00 – Music by the House Band
11pm – Drinking time
At midnight we ride!
Presented by Team Woodlawn

Midnight [at]

Asking for money is something most of us don’t have a lot of experience doing, but it’s really as simple as remembering the little guy behind the need. Little Leo is sick, and the least we can do is ask friends and family for a few bucks to support him.

Make it simple for the people you’re talking with. Tell them plainly what MMR is and why you’re asking for support. There are bullet points on the info flyer to make it super easy. Do we drink and ride? Yes. Do they need to know that? No. Focus on the aspects of MMR that are easy to understand and that everyone can appreciate. But most of all, focus on Leo. He’s the real one in need here, and MMR is just the means for raising support for Leo’s family.

Read the info flyer before you start talking with people. IT’S SHORT and you’ll be more informed. Present your info in a friendly but confident manner. Don’t back down and don’t be afraid to ask for a specific amount such as “…So I’m wondering if you’d like to make a $20 contribution to support Leo’s family and help me reach my goal.” Be specific. If they don’t have that amount, they’ll tell you, but chances are they do. Until you ask, they won’t give.

And if $20 is too much, ask for another amount “I understand. Would you like to give just $10? That’s a pretty easy amount.”

Most of all, have fun, be confident and relax. The worst someone can do is say no. But we sure as hell hope they’ll say yes.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Thank you — Jonathan