Western Kentucky University students biking across country for Alzheimer's research

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) –  Research from the Alzheimer’s Association shows every 66 seconds someone in the United States develops Alzheimer's Disease. Being personally affected by the disease and not wanting anyone else to suffer, a group of fraternity brothers are biking 3,600 miles across country to change the alarming trend.

“Going through the Rockies was tough,” Davis Church told WDRB News.

He and his FIJI Fraternity brothers experienced the ups and downs both physically and mentally.

“It's been a tough journey that's for sure,” Daniel Aroh said.

The 14 young men from Western Kentucky University are riding from Seattle to Virginia Beach raising money for the Alzheimer's Association. Their group is called Bike4Alz.

“Seeing the effects of this heart-breaking disease really made me want to do something about it,” Grant Rohleder said.

This will be the fourth time Bike4Alz has made the trek. Some have personally been affected -- having a grandparent slowly lose the memories that make up their life.

“I walk in and he doesn't even know who I am, can't even remember my name. It's just extremely sad and heartbreaking,” Rohleder said.

“I've seen kind of the first hand instances of what the disease can do to the brain and just the terrible reality of it all,” Trent Erps said.

Others only know of it from visiting with Alzheimer's patients while on the journey.

“We've learned a lot about ourselves and a lot about this disease,” Church said.

The goal is to raise $100,000 for research. The group had a rest day in Louisville Saturday and held a fundraiser at Kingfish.

While some days have been brutal, once riding 125 miles in a day, the group has not once regretted it's decision to make a difference.

“Wind was hitting us in the face, there's hills, it was hot, but the whole time whenever I wanted to quit I was thinking we're doing this for an awesome cause," Aroh said.

Some of the young men are from Louisville. The whole group leaves bright and early Sunday morning to continue the journey.

If you'd like to donate to Bike4Alz, click here

Portions of the video attached to this web story were provided by Aly Badinger. 

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