Max is a bright and funny six year old boy who loves to laugh. Born in Geelong, Australia, and now a resident of Hamilton, Ontario, he’s an active little guy who rides his trike to school and swims like a fish. His mummy and daddy can barely keep up with his wild imagination and constant games.
Max rarely stops talking and one of his favorite topics is all of the things he’s going to do when he’s older, like learn to skateboard, ski and play hockey and soccer with his friends. The problem is that Max has Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a terrible disease which doesn’t allow his muscles to develop like other kids, so unless we find a cure, he will never get a chance to do the things he dreams about doing in his future.
Max has loved zooming along on the back of his dad’s bike ever since he’s been old enough, so he is very excited about embarking on his third Max’s Big Ride which will be a terrific adventure for him.
Andrew is Max’s dad, and has been involved in sports from a very young age. His obsession with cycling began with the Tour de France in the mid-80s and is still going strong. Nine years ago Andrew married Max’s mum Kerri, who used to be a ballet dancer.
With a baby you never know what you’re going to get, but with such active parents it was a surprise when Max was a little awkward on his feet as he developed. It was also a little concerning when Max couldn’t seem to be able to jump, so his mum and dad took him to a series of doctors who confirmed something beyond their worst fears – a diagnosis of DMD.
Once the initial shock and devastation had passed, it didn’t take Andrew long to spring into action and it was a quote from Jesse’s Journey’s founder, John Davidson which rang so true at the time:'You can roll over and play dead, or you can roll up your sleeves and get busy'. One year later, the idea of Max’s Big Ride was born.
Kerri is Max’s mum and she is in awe of what Max can do. Since Max's diagnosis, she has carefully watched him for any sign of slowing down or not keeping up, and while he does struggle with some things - he finds stairs and long walks difficult and his balance isn't too great - on the surface he appears to be a perfectly healthy 6 year old boy. One day soon this will change though, and Kerri fears what the future holds for her little boy. The last three and a half years have been a battle to remain optimistic, but Max's Big Ride is certainly helping her to win that battle.
Kerri and Max's sister Isla will accompany Max and Andrew on the ride, and will drive the support vehicle containing snacks, toys, Tiger Balm and bottles of champagne and juice for when the finish line is crossed.
'If you fixate on the worst-case scenario and it actually happens, you've lived it twice.'
Michael J. Fox - Alex P. Keaton, Marty McFly and Kerri's childhood crush.
Isla is Max's little one-year-old sister. She accompanied her family on her first Max's Big Ride in 2016 and when she's a little bigger she'll be able to ride in the cargo bike with her brother.