Family rides in cycling classic for a cause
Morgan Jueschke and her father, Joseph Jueschke, rode with a purpose in this year’s Courage Classic.
The annual Colorado bike ride benefits Children’s Hospital Colorado in Aurora. The Jueschkes, of Grand Junction, decided to participate in this year’s ride to honor Morgan’s brother and Joseph’s son, Brayden, who received a heart transplant at Children’s 19 years ago when Brayden was just 5 months old. Now a culinary student nearing graduation at Collbran Job Corps, Brayden said he was surprised and excited when he learned his sister and father were training for the ride. Riders collect donations from friends and family members to benefit Children’s.
“The money does go to a good cause so anything that goes to children and teenagers who had problems like I had I support very much, Brayden Jueschke said. “Whether they win or lose (the race) doesn’t matter to me.”
The Courage Classic route began Saturday and ended Monday in Leadville and passed through Lake Dillon, Copper Mountain and Breckenridge. Morgan Jueschke, a Grand Junction High School graduate, said she worried she would be too busy for the ride this summer as she works at Colorado State University, where she attends school. Jueschke, 21, said she found the motivation after her dad signed her up.
“We wanted to do it to honor my brother and his donor,” Morgan said.
The Jueschke family met the Reno, Nev.-based family of the boy who donated a heart to Brayden when Brayden was 3 and Morgan was 5. Morgan said getting to know the boy’s family was hard at first but the two families have formed a bond over the years.
“The more time we spent with them the more we realized it was hard for them to lose a child but comforting they still have a part of him alive. We’ve created an extended family,” she said.
The father-daughter duo have participated in shorter rides like Tour of the Valley, but nothing like the rigorous Courage Classic. Morgan said she has been training for a few months while Joseph started training for the ride in January.
Donations for Children’s through the ride are still being accepted through couragetours.com.