Hole in the Wall Gang Camp

Local Medical Students Complete Final Leg of Cross Country Bike Ride for Charity

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From Seattle to Connecticut, three University of Connecticut medical students just rolled back into the state after a very trying cross country journey.

UConn medical students Brian Legato, Dustin Moore and Julia Neri started their ride to raise money for the Hole in the Wall Gang camp on June 6, traveling from Washington state back to Connecticut.

They said it is a tradition some students do after their first year of medical school.

The Hole in the Wall Gang camp is a nonprofit organization and residential summer camp that serves children year-round coping with cancer and other serious illnesses.

"These kids, they don't quite get to have a normal life with their serious illnesses so them getting to go to a camp and have a week of summer where they get to be just a normal kid and surrounded by other kids who know what it's like for them, so it's really important to have that experience," Moore, a medical student and one of the riders, said.

They also said because they took their exams a week before they flew out to Seattle, their training was limited, so riding through the Rocky Mountains and the Cascades was not an easy feat.

"We had to go over mountains so lots of obstacles with that," Neri said.

"There's moments on this ride where I thought man, I wish I was studying," Legato said.

They said lodging and food was always top of mind and they were fortunate to have so many people open their homes to them.

"We've even stayed at monastery with monks!" Neri said.

Just after 1 p.m. on Monday, they rode in to see their friends and family who were patiently waiting for their arrival outside UConn's John Dempsey Hospital.

The trio is expected to end their journey Tuesday morning at Hammonassett. They've already raised over $15,000.

All proceeds go to the Hole in the Wall Gang camp. If you would like to donate, click here.

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