Update:The smile on the face of Shane Boylan told the whole story of the inspiring 10-mile bike ride that 10-year-old Shane orchestrated in honor of his deceased father. The ride raised $4000 for the Hope for Depression Research Foundation. The heat and the distance never diminished the joy felt by Shane, who rode with the nearly two-dozen people (mostly kids), while about 30 fans watched and cheered.
Timothy A. Boylan, 51 years old, who lived with his family in Highland Park for the past seven years, died in January of 2016 after a long struggle with the very serious and too often hidden disease of depression. Tim, posting on his Facebook page several months ago, referred to his two “awesome” children, nine-year-old Eliza and 10-year-old Shane. On Monday June 20, the day after Fathers Day, Shane is more than living up to that description.
In honor of his father, who was well known as a bike-riding enthusiast, Shane decided to help others. He is holding a bike-riding fundraising event on June 20th for the Hope for Depression Research Foundation. Starting at 6 p.m., he and some friends will be riding 10 miles or two laps around Johnson Park. He hopes people will sponsor his ride by donating money to the foundation.
“My mission is to try and help people that suffer from depression and to help families whose loved ones may be taken away by depression. My own father was taken from me after he lost his fight with depression. So now I am taking revenge on it by hitting it hard. I hope that my funding will help hundreds of other people like my father and even more hundreds of families to stay together,” said Shane when he described the purpose of his initiative to his pastor, Rev. Seth Kaper-Dale of the Reformed Church of Highland Park.
Shane’s mother Aanika, his sister Eliza, and friends from Highland Park have been Shane’s cheerleading squad as he planned the ride and will have his back during he ride.
“I believe that my son is doing what he can to turn a terrible situation in his life into something positive and hopeful for others. Shane has been an introverted kid growing up, and putting this ride together has made him talk about what he is feeling and what he is doing with many people he has never met before,” said Shane’s mother.
“He searched for organizations that help with depression and decided on HDRF. Once we vetted the foundation, Shane created the plans, including the name of and logo design, for his own fundraising ride. I am so proud of him. He is showing me strength and acceptance over what has happened to us and demonstrating that we can turn this tragedy around and use it to help others, to help ourselves and to keep moving forward,” said Aanika who noted that the Highland Park community and the Reformed Church of Highland Park have been life-saving resources for the family.
The 10-mile distance of the ride is a nod to Shane’s age. If he does this ride annually and increases the ride by one mile each year, it could become a major event and make a permanent contribution to curing mental health diseases that wreak havoc on the lives of individuals, their families, and society in general.
To donate, please give a check to Shane or send directly to:
Hope for Depression Research Foundation
40 W 57th Street, Suite 1440
New York, NY 10019. Include “Shane’s Bike Ride” in the memo line, or include a note with the check. Or donate online:
https://www.hopefordepression.org/support-hdrf/online-donation-form/ and in the comments section write “Shane’s Bike Ride.”