Max is a bright and funny seven year old boy who loves to joke around. Born in Geelong, Australia, and now a resident of Hamilton, Ontario, he’s an active little guy who rides his scooter to school and chases his sister all over the place. His parents 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 since he was a baby, so he is very excited about embarking on his fourth Max’s Big Ride.
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.
Once the initial shock and devastation of Max's diagnosis had passed, within days Andrew had resolved to change the trajectory of his son's life. Within the year he had created Max's Big Ride, an event which combines his love of cycling and his love for his son, and which has continually humbled and overwhelmed his family with the generosity, support, kindness and love of the community around them.
Not one to settle for good enough, Andrew has fearlessly grown Max's Big Ride into a series of events which now includes the Ice-Cream Ride and Max's Big Climb. He will speak to anyone who will listen about Max, and over the years has been featured on TV, radio, billboards and newspapers to raise awareness and research dollars for his cause. One such conversation was with Professor Patrick Gunning at the University of Toronto, which incredibly has led to some groundbreaking new research into a treatment for Duchenne.
'Falling down is part of life. Getting back up is living'.
- Jose N Harris. Quote seen on a greeting card a day after Max's diagnosis, which prompted and inspired Andrew's decision to fight Duchenne.
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 still appears to be a perfectly healthy seven year old boy. One day soon this will change though, and Kerri fears what the future holds for her little boy.
With a baby you never know what you’re going to get, but with such active parents it was a surprise when Max seemed a little awkward on his feet as he developed. It was also concerning when at two and a half years old, Max couldn’t jump. He was taken to a series of doctors who confirmed something beyond their worst fears – a diagnosis of DMD. Kerri has struggled to remain optimistic since the diagnosis, 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 she 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 two-year-old sister. As a 3-month old she accompanied her family on her first Max's Big Ride in the car, but now that she's bigger she rides right along in the cargo bike next to Max, who cradles her head when she needs a nap, and feeds her snacks and keeps her giggling when she's awake.