Nov 14, 2023

Wheels for the World 2023!

Wheels for the World is our biggest annual fundraiser, in which we host community bike rides to fundraise and bring awareness to Save One Life. The funds are used to support our programs, which give direct financial assistance to people with bleeding disorders in developing countries. These rides are a great way for our community to get outside, be active and connect with each other. This year we expanded Wheels for the World to host rides all the way across the country and even one in Europe! 

Wheels for the World debuted in 2012 when community member Barry Haarde rode his bicycle across the country to support Save One Life. Barry was inspired to give back to those living without the resources to manage their bleeding disorders. His  ride was a tremendous success and he would go on to ride a total of six cross-country rides in support of Save One Life, raising over $250,000 total. When Barry passed away suddenly in 2018, Save One Life wanted to honor his memory. This annual event recognizes Barry’s contribution to the bleeding disorder community and encourages healthy and active living. 


Barry Haarde at the finish line of one of his many rides across the country.


Wheels for the World 2023 began with a huge success in Providence, RI -  our third annual NEHA Day. We co-hosted this ride with the New England Hemophilia Association at the Narragansett Brewery. This ride not only raises funds for our programs, but also for NEHA’s Emergency Assistance fund. We had many new and returning riders, volunteers and supporters. Everyone enjoyed a beautiful 30 mile bike ride along the coast, followed by refreshments and community building.

Group photo from NEHA Day 2023.


We were happy to introduce Doug Mildram as our cross-country rider for 2023 to carry on Barry’s legacy. Although an exceptional athlete, Doug did not have a cycling background. He trained rigorously since we announced his ride at last year’s NEHA Day. He chose to take on this monumental task because he knew the impact it would make on people with bleeding disorders across the world. Leading up to the ride, Doug would frequently tell us that he knew it would be hard, but not in comparison to what people with bleeding disorders in developing countries experience every day. After the ride, he shared that the thought of Barry’s accomplishments and the kids he was helping is what inspired him to keep going. 

To celebrate the beginning of Doug’s ride, we hosted our West Coast Kickoff event in Portland, OR. Many members of our community from Pacific Northwest Bleeding Disorders came out to support Doug. Doug got to have a taste of Portland before actually beginning his ride. Doug was sent off with many well wishes from the riders. The West Coast Kickoff was exclusively sponsored by Sanofi and their help made the amazing event possible. 


Participants on the way to start their ride at our West Coast Kickoff! 


On August 21, Doug set off on his ride across the country. He and his team began in Astoria, OR, right under the Astoria-Megler Bridge. He rode 100 miles that day, the first of many grueling rides along his journey. 


Doug and his riding group the morning they began their ride across the U.S.


On Day 10, Doug had his first rest day in Montana. That afternoon, we hosted our community bike ride in Missoula. Doug graciously came out to meet with community members from Rocky Mountain Hemophilia & Bleeding Disorders Association. In return, they offered Doug words of encouragement and support to continue on. It was a fun ride followed by a meal at Imagine Nation Brewing Company. 



Photos from the Missoula community bike ride. Our Wheels for the World events are fun for people of all ages! 


While Doug was busy riding across the United States, Wheels for the World made it to Europe for the first time! On Sunday, September 17th, our European Liaison Marelle Hart and her husband Anton cycled from Wasserbillig to Remich and back. The ride was a total of 60km along the stunning Moselle river. This event was featured in Chronicle with an article about their ride and fundraising, read it here:


                                      Marelle and Anton with their bikes.                                                                                     The view along their ride.


After biking 2,482 miles, Doug reached his third rest day in Madison, WI. Community members from Great Lakes Hemophilia Foundation came out to enjoy a relaxing ride around Lake Monona. The ride proceeded a reception at State Line Distillery full of food trucks and fun. They got to meet Doug and hear about his epic journey thus far. 


The group at our Madison, WI community bike ride! 


Doug wasn’t the only one taking on monumental challenges in honor of Barry and Save One Life. We also had 12 riders biking the C&O Canal over a span of three days. The weather conditions were less than ideal, but their spirits remained high. The riders enjoyed the beautiful landscape and time with each other. They braved the rain and mud for three days to ride 156 miles, and still had a blast doing so! 




Our C&O Canal riders on their adventure.


Doug’s final rest day took place in Cazenovia, NY. Yet again, community members from Factor Endurance Network came out to cheer Doug on. We appreciate all of the people who came to support Doug on his rest days. He looked forward to getting to rest and enjoy time with new and familiar faces, all there to encourage him forward. The next morning, Doug left Cazenovia to continue on the last leg of his ride, with only 335 miles to go. 


Doug at his final rest day with community members from Factor Endurance Network.


On October 5th, Doug finished his bike ride across the country. He rode into Crescent Beach State Park, outside Portland, Maine, and got to celebrate with his teammates and loved ones. Doug and his bike touched the salty water of the Atlantic ocean, only 45 days after his departure from the Pacific.  In total, Doug biked 3,782 miles and crossed through 15 states. Watch a compilation of him crossing the finish line, reuniting with his loved ones and a champagne shower with his team! 


Doug finishes his ride across the entire U.S.!


Before Doug left Portland, we celebrated his great accomplishment at our East Coast Celebration, sponsored by Sanofi. The event was hosted at Rising Tide Brewery, where we had delicious food and drinks. The event included a bike ride through Portland. Doug even joined our riders, despite how much he had biked the past two months! After our riders returned, we celebrated with cake and speeches. Doug was surprised with congratulatory videos from his teammates, loved ones, and even Barry’s sister. Doug truly inspired us throughout his journey due to his strength and perseverance. He fundraised a total of $14,680 for Save One Life. We greatly appreciate him and all he has done for our community. 



                 Doug holding his Certificate of Acheivement.                                                   The attendees of the East Coast Celebration ready for their ride. 


Although Doug’s ride was over, we still had two more community rides in Pennsylvania and Arizona. Sanofi and Team Spark Your Ride participated in our Pennsylvania community event. Despite the rain, they enjoyed a beautiful ride along the Chester Valley Trail. 


The PA riders ready to go, despite the cold and rain!


Wheels for the World concluded with a community ride in Arizona. Our Virtual Ride which had run from July 30 to November 5th ended on the same day, bringing Wheels for the World to a close. Our twelve virtual riders biked an impressive cumulative total of 3,305 miles. Thank you to everyone who participated in Wheels for the World 2023. We appreciate all of our riders, volunteers, donors and sponsors for making this possible. We had a great summer full of bike rides, community building and fun. We are so grateful. Congratulations to all of our riders! 


Chris welcoming back the riders after their ride around Portland, ME. 


We are already gearing up for next year! We are happy to announce that James Setliff will be our cross-country rider for Wheels for the World 2024. He will be riding from San Diego, CA to St. Augustine, FL. Wheels for the World 2024 will kick of in San Diego on March 3.

James at the East Coast Celebration.


When we asked James what inspired him to do this, he said:

"What prompted me to do this is my old friend Barry Haarde. He and I used to hang out together before he died in 2018, and he is my true inspiration for doing this."

It is clear that Barry’s legacy continues to live on and inspire through our community, Doug, James, and, most importantly, all of the children we are able to help using the funds raised from Wheels for the World.