The 8th annual Bike to the Beach benefiting Autism Speaks was a huge success! Bike to the Beach is a 105-mile bike ride from Washington D.C. to Dewey Beach, DE. Among the 500 riders who participated were Allen Parvizian and his 10-year old son with autism, Cameron.
Cameron made history as the youngest participant ever. Watch him cross the finish line in the video below.
Team APJL Parvizian has been Bike to the Beach’s number one fundraising team for the past five years, raising more than $280,000 for Autism Speaks.
Cameron was diagnosed at 18 months old with PDD-NOS. He has always loved sports and the outdoors, but he never did well in team sports. Allen and his wife, Goli, found that Cameron could channel his energy through individual life sports such as swimming, running, tennis, and a little golf. Cameron has also always loved bike riding, but more recreationally.
It was earlier in the year, when Cameron saw an Autism Speaks puzzle piece on a car, and immediately shouted out, “Hey dad, look! It’s Bike to the Beach!” Cameron associated the puzzle piece with the bike ride his family and friends have participated in for years.
Cameron does not know he has autism, nor does he know what autism is. Allen turned to Cameron and said, "Cameron, do you want to ride to the beach one day?" Cameron replied, “Yes daddy. This summer?” Allen responded, “Sure, Cameron!”
Allen always dreamt of riding with his son by his side and Cameron’s desire to do so meant it was time. The dad and son duo completed the race and together raised more than $8,000.