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Cure the Cycle Challenge

On October 5, 2024, Challenge Riders will cycle 35, 50, 65, 80, or 100-mile routes in Napa Valley, California, as part of the famous Tour of Napa Ride, which travels from Calistoga through the vineyards and mountains of Napa wine country to raise awareness and funds to benefit the National Urea Cycle Disorders "Brain Project." 

You can help take the wheels off this disorder by participating as a Challenge Rider in Napa, or as a "Virtual Rider" from your own home - no bike required! Our goal is to raise $50,000 to support pioneering research to prevent brain damage and death caused by a genetic disorder called urea cycle enzyme deficiency, or urea cycle disorder. 

If you think that sounds like a challenge, consider what it's like to battle a urea cycle disorder (UCD).

Jim Stavas was a strapping, healthy fire captain for 30 years in Napa Valley when he fell into a coma after a simple sinus surgery. Doctors thought Jim had suffered a stroke, but he was not responding to treatment and near death. Jim had been misdiagnosed.  His coma was caused by high ammonia levels in his blood due to a rare metabolic disorder -- a urea cycle disorder (UCD) -- unmasked by the sinus surgery. Friends searched the Internet for a clue to his symptoms and contacted the National Urea Cycle Disorders Foundation. NUCDF put Jim's wife, Carol, in touch with urea cycle disorder expert Dr. Gregory Enns at Stanford University Medical Center. Jim started responding to treatment and began a long struggle to recover from a devastating brain injury.

Jim fought valiantly through 18 months of rehabilitation. He never recovered functional speech or mobility.  His devoted wife, Carol, was by his side day and night caring for him. Tragically, Jim Stavas lost his battle with urea cycle disorder and passed away.

On Sunday, October 5, 2024, join us for the 10th Annual Cure the Cycle Challenge. We'll ride in memory of Jim and too many others who were also tragically lost to UCD. We ride to support research in the hope that one day, no child or adult will suffer or die from urea cycle disorders. Please join us and help conquer this killer.

Did you know that missing one little enzyme in your body could cause brain damage, coma, and even death? Most people don't, until their loved one is affected.

Children and adults with urea cycle disorders (UCD) have a deficiency in one of six enzymes in the liver necessary to detoxify ammonia, which is produced by our bodies when we eat protein. The ammonia builds up to toxic levels in their bloodstream, causing catastrophic effects on the brain -- learning and neurological disabilities, developmental delays, brain damage, coma, and if untreated, death.  It is often misdiagnosed as autism, ADHD, stroke, behavioral or psychiatric disorders.

Every day, more infants, children, and adults are diagnosed with this devastating disorder, and the fight for their lives begins. The National Urea Cycle Disorders Foundation is their lifeline and their hope for research that can improve their futures and conquer this disorder forever.