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True Grit – The Ultimate Cross – Country Bike Ride

01.22.2018

By Steve Good, Vice President of Growth & Communications

As seen in the Winter 2018 Edition of The Scroll

George Pollock Jr., Florida ’89 has been an avid cyclist since his graduate school days at the University of Florida. A few years after earning his degree, he noticed something wrong with his right leg. It wasn’t until 2006, a decade later that he was given the definitive answer that he had FSH Muscular Dystrophy (FSHD), a muscular disease that progresses throughout life.

In 2016, Brother Pollock was elected to the board of directors of the FSH Society, a Boston-based charity that funds research to find a cure for FSHD. In addition to his volunteer involvement, he initiated a plan to complete the world-famous Race Across America (RAAM). RAAM is known as the “World’s Toughest Bicycle Race” challenging two-, four- and eight-person teams to ride from Oceanside, California to Annapolis, Maryland in one week. Inspired by his grandmother who lived into her 101st year, George and his seven teammates also set out to raise $101,000 for the FSH Society. Additionally, Brother Pollock wanted to become an Iron Phi during the race to show his pride for Phi Delta Theta.

On June 17, 2017, George, his fellow cyclists, and his 10-person support crew left Oceanside, California with 3,100 miles in front of them. During the race, the team would traverse the Sierra, Rocky, and Appalachian mountain ranges; cross the Colorado, Mississippi, Missouri, and Ohio rivers; battle the Mojave and Sonoran deserts; and the enjoy the flat terrain of the Great Plains. Included on their route was Oxford, Ohio, the birthplace of Phi Delta Theta.

At the finish line, Team FSHD Cycling completed the race in seven days, seven hours, and 12 minutes and surpassed their goal of raising $101,000 for the FSH Society. Simultaneously, Brother Pollock became Iron Phi #652 with a donation of $1,000.

“We raced for an important cause, and raised awareness and funds for research,” Pollock said. “However, there was a deeper mission, to inspire people to live their lives no matter the challenges, and for those fortunate to be healthy to have compassion and truly live a life for others.”

To view a recap video of George’s journey visit https://vimeo.com/228261860

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