Nov 15, 2013 7:06 PM by John Patrick
TUCSON - El Tour de Tucson riders take race opportunity to help a good cause.
El Tour de Tucson is about a week away and soon thousands of cyclists will take over Tucson. To some of those riders El Tour is more than a race it's a chance to give back to the community.
Kaylee Rakowski was one of the thousands training tirelessly for El Tour de Tucson when a car cut her off on Campbell Ave ending her dream of riding in the race.
"I squeezed my brakes as hard as I could but I knew I wasn't going to stop in time," explains Rakowski.
The car sent her tumbling to the asphalt breaking her shoulder as she hit the ground. The doctors say she won't be healed up in time for the November 23 starting gun.
Rakowski was raising money for Tu Nidito's Ride for a Child the event that pairs up an El Tour cyclist with a Tu Nidito child to ride and raise funds in their honor. Now that she can't ride in the race a family friend has stepped up to take her spot.
"I was really looking forward to race and I've heard stories that kids would go to the checkpoints and watch their racer," says Rakowski.
Tu Nidito is a charity organization that provides hope and support for children whose lives have been impacted by a serious medical condition or death.
"They're young and they're going through a lot of stuff and they just get to have this day where someone goes above and beyond for them," says Rakowski.
Ciara Garcia with Tu Nidito says it is this event that makes everything they do for grieving children and families possible.
Garcia explains, "It really is because of the cyclist out there riding and raising funds for us that we're able to provide these services."
It's that reason Rakowski's family friend Keith Duckett has stepped in to help fix her totalled bike and take on El Tour in her place.
"Anything to help out the children of this community and help them get a better foot in life is something I like to do," says Duckett.
If you would like to help Rakowski and Duckett raise money for Tu Nidito visit their link by clicking here.