Why I Cycle: CF Cycle for Life Spotlight Series
The CF Cycle for Life Spotlight Series features individuals who inspire and bring hope to their local CF community and raise funds and awareness for cystic fibrosis – all while cycling through some of the most scenic cities and trails in the nation. We hope these stories give you insight into the determination and passion of these cyclists, and that you consider finding a ride near today! Together, we can pedal towards a cure for cystic fibrosis.
Meet Paul Piselli
Although Paul’s initial understanding of cystic fibrosis was somewhat vague, he knew that it touched the life of his lifelong friend, Michael Sullivan. In 1993, Michael’s son Dennis was diagnosed with CF shortly after he was born, and the following year his twin boys, Sean and Dan, were diagnosed at the age of four. When Paul was asked if he wanted to participate in the 2014 Massachusetts CF Cycle for Life to support the family, he didn’t hesitate.
“I thought to myself, I have a bike and this is something that I can do to make a difference,” he said.
On the day of the event, Paul positioned himself at the start of the race, and began listening to the opening speeches when he began to hear voices calling out around him. “I will never forget that moment,” Paul said. “At first I was confused, but I slowly started realizing that what I was hearing were the names of family, friends, and loved ones whom these riders had either lost to CF or were dedicating their ride to.”
After crossing the finish line at his first event, he decided to expand his CF Cycle for Life involvement to the team level the following year. “Hearing those names pretty much brought me to tears right before the race,” he said. “I was truly moved. I knew from that moment that this was the beginning.”
Team Cycling for Sullys was created, and in the team’s first three seasons, they raised almost $75,000, finishing in the top fundraising teams across the nation. This year the team hopes to surpass $100,000 as their goal.
Sadly in 2015, Dennis lost his battle to CF, passing away on Father’s Day. “They say in times of tragedy, people gather together and that’s exactly what happened,” he said. “What followed in the ensuing months leading up to the event was an amazing display of love and support.” Through this loss, Paul and his team remain even more dedicated to raising money to help find a cure for cystic fibrosis.
Paul gives all the credit for the success of his team to those who volunteer, fundraise, and ride for Team Cycling for Sullys. “It’s not about me -- it’s about the boys, the Sullivan family, and the circle of friends and family who will always love them. That’s the real story here.”
In This Section
Why I Cycle
Paul Piselli returns to CF Cycle for Life each year to support his friend life-long friend, Michael and his family.
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