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The Great American Bike Race made some announcements regarding changes to the programs that benefit families



Bismarck, North Dakota – More than 25 years ago, an annual fundraiser in the form of a stationary bike race was begun with the intention of assisting children and young adults who are coping with cerebral palsy and other conditions.

The event has raised close to five million dollars during the course of its existence.

The Sanford Health Foundation has announced that the funds that were raised during this year’s race would be used to assist a greater number of children and not simply those who have cerebral palsy.

The mission of GABR is being expanded by the Foundation such that it will now encompass all children who are cared for by Sanford Health.

“Lots of requests pass my desk every single day, but I’ve never been able to tell those kids ‘yes’ because they didn’t have cerebral palsy or a disability that met the qualifications of GABR. Now, we’re going to be able to tell many more kids ‘yes, we’re here for you to help.’” Sara Haugen, with Sanford Health Foundation, said.

However, many parents of children diagnosed with cerebral palsy feel that these developments are extremely upsetting.

“It’s so shocking that the whole thing was to serve an under-served population and those with unmet needs. And it was literally taken away from them. And I don’t understand how you can do that,” Shawnda Ereth, a mother of children who have benefited from GABR, said.

According to the parents in question, the money provided by GABR has been quite useful in assisting families in paying for medical travel, co-pays, and even wheelchairs.

Shawnda Ereth’s triplet children, who are now 16 years old, both have cerebral palsy, and the Ereth family has been active in GABR for a number of years. In 2016, the triplets were even GABR stars; however, Ereth has informed GABR that they would no longer participate in the organization or earn money for it.

The main event of the Great American Bike Race will take place on May 6.