Brain tumor survivors present a check at a 1993 Ride for Kids event.
It all began with friends helping friends. When a colleague's child was diagnosed with a brain tumor, motorcycle enthusiasts Mike and Dianne Traynor wanted to do something to help. In 1984, they joined other dedicated volunteers to organize a motorcycle charity ride in Atlanta, to raise money for childhood brain tumor research.
The first Ride for Kids raised $4,000, which was donated to Emory University. Riders gathered again the following year, and the concept soon spread to other cities. American Honda signed on as the presenting sponsor of Ride for Kids in 1991, the same year the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation was established.
Today, Ride for Kids events take place in dozens of cities across the United States, and motorcyclists have helped raise more than $70 million for our mission. Mike Traynor passed away in 2009, and Dianne Traynor led the organization until her death in July 2012. They were posthumously inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2013.
Over the past several years, the organization has implemented a strategic plan to expand mission programs and develop new revenue streams to save more children's lives:
The PBTF launched its first regional office when the Brain Tumor Foundation for Children in Atlanta, which had benefited from early Ride for Kids fundraising efforts, became the PBTF's Southeast Region in July 2014. The We Can Pediatric Brain Tumor Network became our West Region in August 2016, and our Central Region and Northeast Region began their work in January 2017 and July 2018, respectively. Following the expansion of family support programs across the country, the PBTF and A Kids' Brain Tumor Cure merged in late 2018 to fund more research across the widest breadth of childhood brain tumors.
Ride for Kids continues to raise millions of dollars each year for research and family support programs, along with the Starry Night Walk to Cure Childhood Brain Tumors, a walk and lantern-lighting series which inspires hope for families living with a pediatric brain tumor diagnosis, and Vs. Cancer, a fundraising program which provides a platform for any sports team, any athlete, any community to help kids with cancer.
As the world's leading nonprofit dedicated to children and teens with brain tumors, our mission is simple, yet powerful: Care. Cure. Thrive. Your support makes this possible, providing care for families, fueling research to cure childhood brain tumors and helping survivors and families thrive. Get involved today so that one day soon, we will all live in a world without childhood brain tumors.