Glens Falls man riding bike cross country and back to honor son's memory

April 18, 2019 07:18 PM

GLENS FALLS - Bicycling is Robb Freed's outlet. The 53-year-old man started riding a few years after losing his son to a rare, painful disease called epidermolysis bullosa.

Drake E. Freed was just 13 months when he passed in 2008.

"I could never get over, never deal with the loss of him," said Freed.

And then came the bike.

A friend suggested the only time Freed was happy was when he was riding or talking about riding. So, he decided to turn it into a quest. He rode across country and back last year. That's 8,600 miles of raising awareness and money for EB research. Now he's doing it again.

"The awareness is what it's all for and giving families hope," said Freed as he stood next to his bike, which is called "Rowan," in honor of another child who suffers from EB. "You can go days without water, you can go days without food, but you can't go one day without hope."

He stays in hostels, churches, firehouses and tents.

He stops along the way, meeting with children and families who are currently dealing with the pain that affected Drake E.

"I'm thinking quality of life for these kids."

Freed is even being featured in a movie coming to Amazon Prime, called "At the Edge of Hope".

Freed will ride from Virginia to Seattle and back starting next week and hopes to finish up in October.

In addition to raising awareness, it serves as therapy on wheels.

"I had so much anger, but I never approached the idea of dealing with the loss of Drake E. This is my outlet, my therapy. I can cry, I can be mad. I can smile."

And he can bring smiles of hope to others suffering like his son did.


Mark Mulholland

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