Bicyclist stops in Davenport during 3,500 mile ride for rare disease research

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A man on a mission stopped in Davenport Sunday, June 7, 2015, as he works to raise $1 million for rare disease research.

Bicyclist and Dean of the College of Science at Notre Dame, Gregory Crawford, arrived in Davenport Sunday afternoon. His journey, “Road to Discovery,” is a 3,500 mile trek that began in Long Island, New York and is expected to end in Pebble Beach, California. His goal is to raise money for research on rare diseases.

While in town, Crawford attended a benefit held for a local family whose son suffers from nonketotic hyperglycinemia (NKH). NKH prohibits the body from properly breaking down the amino acid glycine, which can cause developmental issues, seizures, and brain damage, according to a report by the University of Notre Dame.

greg crawford“Road to Discovery” has begun raising money for research of NKH. Another rare disease they are raising money for is Niemann-Pick Type C (NPC). NPC is a rare and deadly cholesterol storage disorder.  The disease mostly affects children before or during their adolescent years and it leads to fatal neurodegenerative issues.

This is the fifth year of “Road to Discovery” and over the last four years they have collectively raised $1 million. A higher goal was set for the 2015 mission. They hoped to raise $1 million this year alone. As of the beginning of June, Crawford said they had raised $800,000.

Notre Dame football coach Ara Parseghian lost three of his grandchildren to NPC, according to Crawford.  He said "Road to Discovery" partners with the Ara Parseghian Medical Research Foundation.

After leaving the Quad Cities, Crawford planned to head to Iowa City.

The full ride schedule and a blog of his journey can be found here.