“24 Foundation isn’t just for cyclists; it’s for anyone who wants to throw punches back at cancer for affecting them or someone they love,” said Josh Jones, 24 Foundation Charlotte rider and top fundraiser.
Jones originally began to ride in honor of his friend Jonathan Tisdale who passed away from a brain tumor at the age of 38. He was somewhat new to road biking, but wanted to honor the memory of the friend he knew for 18 years who loved to ride.
Two years later Jones was faced with another reason to throw punches back at cancer when his two-year-old daughter Libby was diagnosed with Leukemia. For 14 months they fought hard, but ultimately the Leukemia was too much and Libby passed away on May 8th, 2014.
“I ride in hopes that my efforts one day will mean that no parent will ever have to walk a day in our shoes and hear the words we heard about our first born” Jones said.
For Jones, 24 Foundation is more than just the event. The organization has impacted his life because the cause is real and the 24 Foundation community believes in what they are doing everyday, not just when it’s time to put on the event.
“When Libby was sick, 24 Foundation sent handmade cards, stickers, t-shirts and emails all the time just to let us know we had their support no matter what,” said Jones.
Last year was Jones’ first year at the actual start of the ride and he says he will never miss that part of the event again. The start line is full of loud music and screaming spectators that create an infectious energetic atmosphere enhancing the spirit of the event.
Jones shares his story in hopes that others are inspired to experience 24 Foundation too. He highly recommends at least attending as a spectator just to take it in and almost everyone he knows who has taken his advice has been inspired to ride the following year.
This year will be Jones’ fifth year participating in the event. He sets fundraising goals that top the charts finishing 2nd overall as a team in Charlotte and him personally achieving top individual fundraiser last year. He constantly sends out emails, texts and posts on social media to increase funds, as well as works with vendors to receive corporate donations. Also, each member of his team is asked to try and raise at least $1,000 each.
Last year Jones also made it a goal to ride 100 miles as well as to slow down and enjoy the event. He realized his goals could be reached while supporting others on the loop by participating as a rider and a spectator at the same time.
Set your heart on a goal and achieve it at 24 Foundation! Register for one of our three events at www.24foundation.org!