Jefferson Award Winner: Jackie Bailey, KCRG – TV9
May 13, 2016 by mitchellcohen
Our Media Partners are local news outlets that celebrate unsung heroes in their communities with Jefferson Awards. Over the past year they have honored hundreds of extraordinary Americans, and they’ve each selected a winner to represent their region at our National Ceremony in Washington, D.C. This June, five local heroes will win the prestigious Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Award for Outstanding Public Service Benefitting Local Communities.
Jackie Bailey has been selected by KCRG – TV9 to represent Eastern Iowa in Washington, D.C.
In 2005, Jackie Bailey and her husband Tom founded a charitable bike ride called The Courage Ride to honor their son, Seth, who died of sarcoma cancer at the age of 25. Because sarcoma is a rare form of cancer, it only receives about 1% of all cancer research funding. It’s Jackie’s mission to make sure the cause gets the support it deserves. Over the last 10 years, The Courage Ride has raised over $300,000 for sarcoma cancer research at the University of Iowa Cancer Center, allowing for clinical trials – which were unavailable while Seth was going through treatment – sarcoma specialists and additional resources.
She manages the event each year, leading a team of over 30 dedicated volunteers. The ride travels through paved and unpaved country roads in Kalona, Iowa. Bikers of all ages and skill levels are welcome, and routes range from 16 to 110 miles. Riders are given a hearty breakfast, mechanical support for their bikes, and plenty of food and beverages along the way. There’s even live music played at the rest stops and free skin cancer screenings by three volunteer dermatologists on-site. This year’s ride will take place on August 20th, and you can register here.
Dr. Joseph A. Buckwalter is a professor of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. He says, “For 30 years I have worked with people suffering from cancer. They have inspired me with their courage, empathy and love of life, and shown me the strength of the human spirit in the face of adversity. Sadly, the limitations of current treatments prevent us from curing many cancer patients. Seth Bailey, a young man with great promise and exceptional warmth and fortitude, and a patient of mine, was one of those individuals. The desire of Seth’s parents to help other cancer patients led them to start the tour. I can think of no more appropriate memorial to Seth than The Courage Ride and no more noble cause than increasing support for advancing understanding of cancer so that more people suffering from this disease can live full, productive and happy lives.”
Click here to purchase tickets to our National Ceremony in Washington, DC on June 16th.