Teenager with Cystic Fibrosis rides to raise thousands

KUSA - The 25th annual Courage Classic is this weekend in Summit County. If you spot a bunch of guys and gals wearing pink, there's a very good reason.

Bryan Warnecke is a typical 15 year old goalie with big aspirations.

"My dream is to be the first person with Cystic Fibrosis to compete in the Olympics."

He's not about to let a genetic disease stand in his way.

"I've had Cystic Fibrosis since I was born," explains Bryan. "I've had to deal with it all my life. I have two treatments a day and take 40 pills a day."

Nothing seems to slow Bryan down, even when his Cystic Fibrosis makes it tough to breath.

"It (Cystic Fibrosis) primarily attacks the lungs," explains his dad Steve. "Unfortunately he lost a piece of his right lung about two years ago, but decided he wanted to ride the Courage Classic last year."

Not only did Bryan ride 155 miles over multiple high altitude mountain passes, he also raised the most money by a single rider in the history of the Courage Classic, which benefits Children's Hospital.

This year, Bryan and his dad raised the bar.

"This year we decided since it's the 25th anniversary of the Courage Classic to do something special," says Steve. "We are riding 1,000 miles around the state to raise money for CF."

Over the course of 43 days, before the start of the Courage Classic on July 19th, Bryan and Steve will ride 1065 miles with team Pink Lightning, a tribute to the other sport Bryan loves and wants to play in the Olympics some day.

"When I started playing ice hockey, I had pink goalie pads," explains Bryan. "My legs were so quick, the first time I was out on the ice, my goalie coach gave me the nickname 'Pink Lightning'."

"Bryan's story is one of hundreds that we see come through here," says Steve, who is also the CFO of The Children's Hospital Foundation. "His is extraordinary, but there are a lot of extraordinary kids that come through this hospital and to be a part of that is pretty cool."

To find out more about Pink Lightning, click here.

To learn more and donate to the 25th annual Courage Classic, click here.

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)


To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment