Charlie Read, the son of bikers Clif and Arleen Read, grew up on a bicycle. At two, he rode on the back of his dad’s bike in the “Tour de Quabbin”-- an annual 70 mile ride. Then, three days short of his 12th birthday, Charlie completed all 70 miles on his own bike. “I felt like I could do anything,” he told his 6th grade class in Massachusetts.
But Charlie had epilepsy. Occasional seizures never slowed him until last summer, when epilepsy took his life last August at age 16. SUDEP (Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy) kills 3,000 young Americans each year, devastating parents like Clif and Arleen.
Riding C2C, coast-to-coast, had been a Read family dream since before Charlie’s death. Charlie is not with us, but his bike is here, with riders taking turns and encouraging donations to the SUDEP Institute of the Epilepsy Foundation, which carries out SUDEP Education and Awareness programs, supports research into the causes prevention, and provides counseling and resources for families affected by SUDEP.