By Ali Lee, Vikes Communications
The summer initiative, coined “Biking for Baha” is in honour of grandfather George Neville “Baha” Munro. It is not surprising that both Ryan, the youngest at age 22, and Scott, the eldest at age 30, competed in varsity basketball for five years, since Munro was a member of the amateur basketball team that represented Canada at the Olympics in London. That team finished ninth of 23 competing nations.
“Baha was an amazing role model for my brothers and I,” explained Ryan. “As an athlete, his actions and accolades showed us how to achieve our dreams by working hard and never giving up. He showed us how to be humble, competitive, intense and grateful while playing sport.”
Munro, also a successful lawyer, published author and member of the UBC Sports Hall of Fame, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1987, at the age of 60. The persistent disease, that primarily targets motor skills and speech, conquered Munro 16 years later, when he was 76.
In 1992, Dave Munro, Baha’s eldest son, built a bicycle for Baha with the intent to ride across Canada together. Baha was not able to join Dave on the journey due to his deteriorating health and the bicycle has since sat in the family garage for almost 20 years.
“Seeing the effects first-hand gave me insight to how truly horrible this disease is,” explained Ryan. “By trying to raise awareness and funds for research, I hope it can help minimize or even eliminate Parkinson’s disease for individuals and families in the future.”
To honour their grandfather and support Parkinson’s research, Baha’s grandchildren will ride BAHA’s bicycle over 8,000 km across Canada, as intended. The brothers will rotate duties throughout the journey with a goal of raising $1 for every kilometer ridden to total over $40, 000 for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s research. The journey will begin May 2012.