By Jacob Comer Team Dallas Voice
My name is Jacob. I am 11 years old, and I just started sixth grade. This year, I am working on the Lone Star Ride Fighting AIDS pit stop crew with my mom, Sandra.
I like to ride my bike. Last year, when I was in fifth grade and the school I went to was closer to my house, I would ride my bike to school.
One day, I want to be a rider in Lone Star Ride. But that will have to wait until I am older and can ride farther.
Last year, my mom was riding her bike in Lone Star Ride. But she had a wreck and hurt her hand.
When she came home and I saw that her hand was hurt, I was upset, and I said I didn’t want her to ride any more. But then she told me why she was riding.
She told me that the reason for Lone Star Ride is to raise money for people who have a disease called AIDS. She said that AIDS makes you really feel bad and you have to take lots of medicine all the time.
She also said that the medicines cost lots of money and it is hard for people to pay for the medicines they need, especially because AIDS makes people so sick that sometimes they can’t work to make money.
So people who have AIDS sometimes can’t pay for food or for a place to live. It made me very sad to think of that.
Mom told me that Lone Star Ride raises money to help people with AIDS get their medicine and have somewhere to live and food to eat.
So when she said she was going to volunteer again this year, I told her I wanted to volunteer, too. I want to do something to help people who are already sick, and I want to help other people keep from getting AIDS.
One time this summer, Mom and I went to one of the Lone Star Ride training rides. We rode in our car to make sure that the people on their bikes were OK.
If someone started feeling bad or got too tired to ride any more, we picked them up and drove them back to the finish line.
It was so much fun. I love to work with my family and people that I know, and I love to meet new people and make new friends. Lone Star Ride is a great way to do that.
It was so much fun to go by the people on their bikes and cheer for them and wave to them.
It is fun to help people.
Why don’t you come and ride with us or volunteer for the crew so that you can have fun helping people, too?
A note from Jake’s mom: There are a lot of adults out there who either don’t see the importance of participating in Lone Star Ride or other such events, or who aren’t willing to give the time and put out the effort to be part of something that is so important.
And to know that my son, at 11 years old, is already thoughtful and kind-hearted enough to make this sort of commitment makes me very, very proud.
I know that it takes a lot of time and effort and dedication to ride a bike 150 miles over two days.
And yes, it takes time and effort and dedication to volunteer for one of the crew positions.
But that time and effort is nothing compared to the good that you can do for people living with AIDS who need your help.
Even if you can’t ride or crew, you can donate to someone who is.
So come on — join me and Jake and do your part for the Lone Star Ride and the people it serves.
To donate to Jacob or to another LSR rider or crew member, go online to LoneStarRide.org.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 27, 2010.