Denver Bar Association
February 2006
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The Wheels of Justice Go Round and Round: Colorado lawyers ride to raise money for The Children’s Hospital

by Tripp Lake
Member of the CBA/DBA Courage Classic Leadership Council


Denver’s Children’s Hospital, recently ranked seventh among pediatric hospitals in the United States, is one our city’s great resources. It is a place most of us hope we will never need; but when a child we know becomes ill, it is comforting to know the nationally-renowned doctors, nurses and administrators who make Children’s a leader are there for us.

You don’t have look far within the legal community to find families who have been helped by Children’s Hospital. Denver attorney Brad Haight is just one of many attorneys whose child unexpectedly required the expertise of the specialists at Children’s. Brad was swimming with his son, Will, when Will became lethargic and began vomiting. He was taken by ambulance to Children’s, where an MRI showed a large hematoma in his skull. Doctors drained the blood clot and removed a golf ball-sized mass from his cerebellum. The cause of bleeding was not easily determined, until the Children’s multidisciplinary team, including a neuro-oncologist, identified 20 cells out of the entire mass that told the story: monomorphic pilomyxoid astrocytoma, a very rare cancer.

After months of treatment that included the removal of additional tumors, Will’s team at Children’s determined he would not likely survive without high-dose chemotherapy, which would take him to the edge of survival. His family brought him to another respected institution for a second opinion. Physicians there counseled against the high-dose chemotherapy and predicted Will would not live. Finding this prognosis unacceptable, his family brought him back to Children’s. Today, after months of chemo, Will’s prognosis is optimistic, and he is regaining his strength and his life. Brad said: "Our family is thankful for the doctors, nurses, therapists, cleaning people, cafeteria staff and volunteers at Children’s Hospital. Everyone worked tirelessly to make Will better, make our stay more enjoyable, keep boredom at bay and put meat on the boy."

The photos above are from the 2005 Courage Classic.

In 2006, the Colorado and Denver Bar Associations will lead the way in encouraging the legal community’s support for this Denver institution by sponsoring "The Wheels of Justice," a team of cyclists riding the 17th annual Courage Classic Bike Tour, benefiting the Children’s Hospital Foundation.

The Courage Classic, set for July 22–24, 2006, is a beautiful three-day, 160-mile bike ride through the Rocky Mountains. Participants range from hardcore "Lance-alike" cyclists who undertake extra challenges up mountain passes, to families who ride in the one-day "Taste of Courage" tour around Lake Dillon — on bicycles built for two, three and even four. In addition, a special part of the Courage Classic is the participation of "Team Courage." This group of exceptional kids from Children’s Handicapped Sports Program ride all or part of the tour, demonstrating their courage in overcoming life’s obstacles and providing inspiration for riders, volunteers and spectators.

In last year’s Courage Classic, 1,800 riders raised more than $1.6 million for the hospital. With the legal community’s support, the CBA/DBA team hopes to make the 2006 Courage Classic the most successful yet, by attracting 100 riders and raising $100,000. Whether you sign-on as a cyclist, volunteer or firm sponsor, or donate to an individual rider, your efforts will support first-rate medical care and research, as well as the construction of the new Children’s facility at Fitzsimmons.

As the CBA/DBA team begins its first year of participation in the Courage Classic, law firms are invited to join as sponsors at the Supreme ($5,000), Barrister ($3,000) or Partner ($1,500) levels. Firms are already onboard, including Supreme Level sponsors Pryor Johnson Carney Karr Nixon, PC; Montgomery, Kolodny, Amatuzio & Dusbabek LLP; and Barrister Level sponsor Hall & Evans LLC. In addition, solo practitioners and small firms in the Plaintiffs Employment Lawyers Association have raised at least $4,000. The CBA/DBA team will host group training rides, "Biking Basics" classes, and kick-off and send-off parties in the spring and summer. This is an excellent opportunity for firm employees and their families to "get fit in ’06" for a great cause. Local health clubs and bike shops will offer discounts to sponsoring firms and team cyclists. Lawyer and non-lawyer cyclists are welcome to join the CBA/DBA team.

Stories like Will’s continue to inspire the "Wheels of Justice" team as they ride the miles and raise the dollars in support of Children’s Hospital. Please join them however you can.


For more information on the CBA/DBA Courage Classic Team, contact Carolyn Gravit, (303) 824-5340 or cgravit@cobar.org, or Heather Purcell, (303) 991-2641 or hpurcell@levinepurcell.com.


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