Their program called Pathway2Home is designed to help those recovering from opioid addiction by riding a bike.
“They’re motivating themselves; they’re letting those natural endorphins kick in,” said President and Founder of Pedal4Life, Ira David Levy. “They’re here because they want to be. I think we have to erase that stigma that those who are suffering with the disease of addiction are morally wrong or bad people; they’re not. They just have a disease like diabetes or cancer. So we need to educate people. We need to educate the public, and show them that these are people who are in treatment because they want to get healthy.”
Around eight patients from the Banyan Treatment Center Chicago ride their bikes once a week for six weeks through the Naperville area with Levy.
The program also teaches bike safety and bike maintenance, but most of all, it teaches patients a new way of life.
“It’s been great because it’s teaching me how to do things differently, how to have fun in different ways, and also I lost a few pounds so that’s good,” said Branton Morataya, a rider in the Pedal4Life program.
“I just really like getting out on a Saturday morning and riding. It makes me feel really good afterwards,” said Brian Dalbello, another rider with Pedal4Life.
Branton and Brian have both been awarded their own bike, lock, and helmet, an accomplishment given to those who have completed Pathway2Home.
Pedal 4 life became incorporated in April of 2016 and since then has been helping patients in DuPage and Will counties. The idea of Pedal4Life came after Levy heard about veterans who’ve been positively impacted by biking.
“So I thought ‘well if this can work for veterans it can work for civilians too,’” said Levy. “And so what better way to also make a difference in veterans lives and bring them into our program to serve as mentors, so that’s part of our program too.”
Making an impact on the lives of patients one ride at a time.
Naperville news 17’s Christine Lena reports.
LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
Get daily hometown news and sports delivered to your inbox!Sign Up Today!