Bowdoin pupil, 11, raffling his new bike to lift funds for little one’s therapy

Connor Ridley, a fifth grader at Bowdoin Central School, is giving away his new bike to raise money for medical treatment for another child. Jen Carroll

A small effort and a big heart can help others. Connor Ridley, all 11 years old, showed that.

Ridley, a 5th grade student at Bowdoin Central School, raised money for medical treatment for another child by giving away the brand new bike he won by participating in the Bikes for Books reading competition this summer.

Connor Dobbyn with his father Michael Dobbyn Jen Carroll

Ridley’s mother Jen Carroll said her boyfriend’s son, Connor Dobbyn, was diagnosed a few years ago with a rare genetic condition called Sanfilippo’s syndrome type C, a fatal brain disease caused by a single missing enzyme.

“It’s often compared to childhood Alzheimer’s. There is no cure for Sanfilippo and the average life expectancy is 10 to 20 years, ”Carroll said.

Connor Dobbyn, 13, lives in Pennsylvania with his parents and younger brother.

“To save his life, his family is working to get him into a clinical trial that will cost millions of dollars,” said Carroll. “He’s barely two years older than (Ridley) and I can’t imagine digesting news like this. We often discuss the health of (Connor Dobbyn) at home and Connor (Ridley) is aware of this. A few months ago he overheard me talking to a friend about it and then I think he decided to help this kid. “

“One day Connor (Ridley) came back from school and said he would win the bike and later sell it so he could donate the money for Connor’s (Dobbyn) treatment,” Carroll said. “He said, ‘Mom, I can do this. It’s easy. I’m going to make this opportunity great. ‘”

At the time, Carroll suggested giving away the bike instead of selling it. She said it was her idea to raise money by bike, but Ridley was there from the start.

“I have agreed to support him in his best efforts. Connor (Ridley) was always very helpful. Not everything hits his radar, but when it happens he feels it so deeply and relates to it, ”Carroll said. “He sees his potential. Even if he doesn’t notice he’s doing it. “

Speaking to The Times Record, Michael Dobbyn, Connor Dobbyn’s father, said he was grateful for all of the support they are receiving from people across the country. “Connor (Ridley) is one of the youngest who rose and wanted to do something. It’s very inspiring. He tries miles and miles to raise money for my child, and that lights up my heart. This gesture of his says a lot about him as a person, and it is amazing to see a child of this age willing to do so much for someone he has never met. “

Every dollar raised goes to the Cure Sanfilippo Foundation and a GoFundMe fundraiser.

“If they meet their $ 1 million goal, Connor (Dobbyn) should be able to enter the phase 1 clinical trial,” said Michael Dobbyn.

Meanwhile, Ryan Keith, director of Bowdoin Central School, has spread the word about Ridley’s initiative in the local community through the school district’s weekly newsletter.

The tickets for the raffle that Connor Ridley is selling Jen Carroll

“Connor (Ridley) was always friendly and polite to other students in the school. Every spring we run the Bikes for Books program and the idea is to get our students to spend more time reading, ”said Keith. “This year, Ridley was excited to win the bike, but for another child who is sick. He was determined to win the bike by reading as much as possible so he could give it away to help this child. “

The mother-son duo is selling tickets for $ 10 each or six for $ 50 through July. The winner will be drawn in the first week of August.

“Who wouldn’t want to win a $ 10 bike?” Said Carroll. “We hope $ 10 for the chance to win a bike will generate interest, which can help make a few extra ticket purchases.”

More information on purchasing raffle tickets. Contact Jen Carroll at [email protected]

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