In addition to Mark and Raj Mills, the C.C. Riders cycling team also includes friends and family members -- Matt Arnold, Todd Morris, Jeff Petrillo, Dave Thiebeau and Mike Mills. This unique ride, approximately 130 miles, will take the group from suburban Westchester County in New York, through the Bronx and Manhattan, onto a ferry into New Jersey, then across New Jersey to Philadelphia, ending up at the place of the Mills twin sisters birth – the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP). To-date, the C.C. Riders have raised over $30,000 for the Pennsylvania Chapter March of Dimes.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
5:00 p.m. – cyclists to arrive at HUP
||Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP)
MAIN ENTRANCE – 3400 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Mark Mills and his wife, Rajasi, understand firsthand what it means when a baby is not born healthy. On June 14, 2006, their twin daughters Chloe and Chessa were delivered ten weeks premature. It was one of the brightest and darkest days of the Mills’ lives. They welcomed into the world 2 pound, 7 ounce daughter Chloe, but also lost her twin sister Chessa, who died just prior to delivery. Their emotions swirled dramatically as they celebrated Chloe’s birth, mourned the death of Chessa, and worried about the struggle that Chloe would have in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
Chloe spent seven weeks in the intensive care nursery at HUP and endured intubation, c-pap breathing, a blood transfusion, bacterial infection, and more. But after those seven weeks, she came home as a healthy, little girl weighing 4 pounds, 12 ounces. While the months that followed included a tremendous number of doctors visits including several specialist visits, Chloe is an energetic and adorable three-year-old today. The Mills are sharing their family’s story to help the March of Dimes raise awareness and funds to help all babies get a healthy start in life by fighting serious threats to infant health.
In 2006, the family decided to hold their first special fundraiser, a rigorous bike trek, to raise funds and awareness for the March of Dimes. The Mills thought it would be fitting to have a two-day bike ride starting at the March of Dimes national headquarters in While Plans, New York, and finishing at HUP where their daughters were delivered. The bike team was dubbed the C.C. Riders to honor the Mills twins, Chloe and Chessa.
“I was involved with the March of Dimes before our daughters were delivered. But since then, I wanted to go beyond my involvement in their annual walk, so this is how the idea of the C.C. Riders was created,“ said Mark Mills. “The scariest moments of my life were those sitting in the NICU, not knowing if Chloe would survive. Today, thanks to the support of the March of Dimes, Chloe is a happy and healthy. Now, I’m raising money and awareness for the March of Dimes so no other families will have to face such scary moments.”
The most urgent infant health problem in the U.S. today is premature birth. It affects more than half a million babies each year, with the number growing every day. Babies born too soon are more likely to die or have disabilities. The March of Dimes is committed to reducing this toll by funding research to find the answers to premature birth and providing comfort and information to families who are affected.
Over the last 50 years, the specialty of neonatology (newborn medicine) has developed to improve the chances of survival for babies born ill or prematurely, and to improve their developmental outcomes. Dramatic advances have occurred in the field over the past decade. These advances focus on creating an environment that meets an infants' physiological, emotional and developmental needs.
HUP’s Intensive Care Nurse is Level III the best equipped and staffed by neonatologists who are highly trained in infant intensive care, from The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. HUP Level III ICNs offer the highest level of care for sick and premature infants.
To date, the C.C. Riders have raised over $30,000 for the Pennsylvania Chapter March of Dimes.