Fifth annual Cycle 4 CMT fundraiser targets rare disease, August 26

Walkers and cyclists will take to local country roads Aug. 26 for the 5th Annual Cycle 4 CMT fundraiser.

The event is open to people of all ages and abilities, and proceeds support research for Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, referred to as CMT, which is a progressive neurological disease that damages nerves to the arms and legs.

Shelburne resident Chris Ouellette founded the annual event after his nephew, Yohan Bouchard, was diagnosed with the incurable disease at the age of 7. Bouchard is now 25.

“I experienced Yohan’s ongoing battle with CMT from being an active kid enjoying snowboarding, walking, and hiking to abandoning these activities as a result of his CMT,” Ouellette said. “My love for him drove my determination to find a cure for this disorder.”

The Old Lantern Inn and Barn in Charlotte is the home base for the event with walkers and riders starting off and finishing there. Participants may choose from five scenic routes that cross a covered bridge, offer views of Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks, and traverse terrain in Shelburne, Charlotte and Hinesburg.

An after-party at the Old Lantern includes a meal, Vermont beer, live music and a silent auction. For full details and registration, go to cycle4cmt.com.

New this year is an opportunity for supporters who cannot participate in person to contribute online as a virtual walker or rider. Find details for that at cycle4cmt.com/new-virtual-cycle-walk-4-cmt.

Funds raised through registrations go to the Charcot-Marie-Tooth Association which supports the development of new drugs to treat CMT to improve the quality of life for those with CMT and search for a cure for the estimated 2.8 million people worldwide with the disease. To learn more about CMTA, visit online at cmtausa.org.

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