A Ride for Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale New Haven
Joe Miragiuolo signed up for his first Closer to Free ride in 2014 to support his longtime friend Karen and her middle-school-age daughter, Haley, who was being treated for cancer at Smilow. And because he loved the challenge of marathon rides. But during the event, he discovered other reasons to ride.
“Two or three miles into the ride we stopped in front of the hospital and I noticed the pictures of loved ones pinned to riders’ jerseys. I heard the hushed chatter about friends and family who were saved and those who were not. Patients and medical staff alike came out to the street to cheer us on. The collective emotion was contagious.
“That’s when I realized that this ride is much bigger than my desire to challenge myself, and it’s bigger than Karen and her daughter, Haley, who, by the way, is doing well and has blossomed into a beautiful young woman.
This ride is about all of us. It’s too important to wait for others to do it. Simple.”