Man bikes 900 miles to help Georgia girl - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Man bikes 900 miles to help Georgia girl

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GAINESVILLE, Ga. -

Ten time Ironman, Dave Nazaroff recently rode 900 miles on his bicycle...from Nyack, New York...to Georgia. He didn't do it to get in shape, or to win a competition; he did it to raise money for a 11 year old Callie Truelove in Gainesville, Georgia.

Callie is living with a rare genetic disorder and recently had open heart surgery.

When Nazaroff heard about Callie's story, he choose her as the recipient of his 2nd annual charity ride, through his nonprofit, Ride to Give.

"It was like a dream come true!" said Callie, when she heard the news.

On July 12, Dave arrived after 5-6 days of cycling, over 200 miles a day. Callie's mom Tabitha says, she'll never forget that moment. "He rode up over the hill and I remember just seeing the look on his face and seeing the look on Callie's face and she had her arms stretched out...it just meant more than words could ever say," she said.

Callie suffers from a rare genetic disorder called Williams Syndrome. "Callie has seizures, she has mini strokes, they have joint problems, developmental delays..." said Tabitha. Callie was diagnosed as a baby. Doctors had bad news for the family. "They told us that medically, there was nothing they could do with Callie. They just told us to come home and live every day like it was the last," said Tabitha.

Callie wasn't suppose to live past her first birthday. Today...Callie is 11.

And now, thanks to Nazaroff she can "feel" like an 11 year old should.

With the money he raised, she got a brand new play room, revealed to her just a couple weeks ago, with Nazaroff at her side.

She picked the theme....but never in her wildest dreams did she imagine her "jungle room" would turn out....the way it did.

It's painted in zebra stripes, has paintings, sculptures, a real bird and bird cage, stuffed animals, and an huge pin full of plastic balls! "If anyone bothers me iI can come up here and no biggie," said Callie.

In her new play room, Callie is just like every other kid. "I just feel special, honestly!" she said.

Only now...she wants to take that feeling...and pass it on. "What is next, is we are going to pay it forward by helping other familes. Not only has this changed Callie's life, it's changed my whole family's life," Tabitha said.

In all, Nazaroff was able to raise $80,000.

He handed a portion of the money over to the local nonprofit Sunshine on a Ranney Day...and the folks there are responsible for building Callie's surprise "jungle room".

They also renovated her bedroom, and did some other home makeover projects for the Trueloves.

The rest of the money will go towards Callie's medical expenses.

Ride to Give called on the public and their "Ride to Give Army" of over 75,000 Facebook followers to raise the money.

About Ride to Give

Ride to Give is a 501(c)3 children's charity founded by Dave and Kaete Nazaroff in the spring of 2013. The goal of RTG is to raise money year round for deserving families utilizing the strong army amassed through social media. Last year, RTG raised nearly $200,000 for the family of Tripp Halstead, a toddler outside of Atlanta with a traumatic brain injury. On the first "Ride to Give," Dave was followed by a support crew of three as he cycled from NY to GA to deliver the donated funds. Ride to Give has since gone on to raise an additional $525,000 for 30 other children in the past year.

About Sunshine on a Ranney Day

The mission of Sunshine on a Ranney Day is to create safe, fun and uplifting dream-room makeovers for children with long-term illness. In addition, they provide care and encouragement to the families of each child.

APP USERS: Click here to view the photo gallery.

Please visit http://fnd.us/c/emda5/sh/61Edl0 to make a tax-deductible donation.

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