'Ride for the Kids' Dubuque benefit on Saturday - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

'Ride for the Kids' Dubuque benefit on Saturday

Sarah Reiss lost her battle with cancer Sept. 29, 2010 Sarah Reiss lost her battle with cancer Sept. 29, 2010

Two Eastern Iowa families are on a very personal mission to find the cure for children's brain tumors and heart defects.

Doctors found a cancerous tumor in Sarah Reiss' brain in 2008. She was only 20 years old at the time.

In 2009, her cousin's son Matthew Wessels was born with a heart defect.

That year, the families started "Ride for the Kids," a benefit where all the money raised goes to the University of Iowa to find a cure for these conditions.

Saturday marks the third annual event.

"I can't stress it enough that this money does go strictly to research," Sarah's father, Mark Reiss, said Thursday. "There's nothing that goes to administrative or anything like that. It's all for research, so, you know, we are making an impact."

Tragically, Sarah lost her battle with cancer nearly one year ago.

"She lost her battle last year, on Sept. 29," Reiss said, taking a brief moment before continuing. "So, you know, the University of Iowa is very caring and just a wonderful facility."

Saturday's "Ride for the Kids" starts at Happy's Place in Dubuque. Registration for the motorcycle ride begins at 10 a.m., with the ride taking off at 11:30 a.m.

There will be an auction at Happy's Place at 7 p.m.

The family will present this year's check to the University on Sept. 29, the first anniversary of Sarah's death.

Between the first two events, the community has donated nearly $90,000 to fund research for these conditions.

"What we're after is to find a cure so other families don't have to go through what we did," Reiss said.

He hopes to equal or exceed the proceeds of the second year, in which they raised $59,000.

The first year, the family's goal was to raise around $5,000. Thanks to community support, they said, they raised more than $30,000.

More information about Saturday's Ride for the Kids is on the benefit's WEBSITE.

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